Ghana Police, Nigeria Customs Volleyball Teams Crowned Zone 3 Club Champions

Ghana Police men’s team and Nigeria Customs Service Women’s team have emerged champions of the Zone 3 Africa Volleyball Club championships held at the indoor hall of the University of Lagos, Nigeria.

Ghana Police beat Nigeria Customs Service 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-17) in the Men’s final for the second consecutive time since the revival of the championship.

Ghana Police fans

In the third place match, Nigeria Police defeated Nigeria Immigration 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 27-25).

Ghana Police defeated all their opponents 3-0, this coach Elisha Ayiku described as sign that his team is ready for the Africa Club Championships.

Nigeria Customs started on a high note but Ghana police came from behind to win the first set. Despite the crowd being in support of the home team, Ghana Police dictated the pace of the game in the second and third set.

Ghana Police men’s Volleyball team

Speaking with the media after the final match The head coach of Ghana Police, Elisha Ayiku said: “I am excited beating Nigeria for the second time on her home soil.

“The Ghana Police team has been getting the support of the Commissioner of Police. We hope to continue with our form on the African continent”.

Ayiku told newsmen in Lagos that most of the players in the Police team dominate the Ghanaian National Volleyball team.

He said, “The next assignment for most of my players is to qualify for the All African Game. We will be back in Nigeria to cement our participation at the games in Morocco.

In the women’s category, Nigeria Customs beat Nigeria Immigration Service 3-0 (25-11, 25-21, 28-26). In the third place game, Nigeria Army beat Kada Emeralds, 3-1 (2-25, 25-17, 25-12, 25-17)

Nigeria Customs Service Women’s Volleyball team

The head coach of Nigeria Customs Service, Femi Akanni said: “This success recorded here would not have been possible without the support of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd). Since his arrival, the teams have experienced maximum support.

Meanwhile, the President of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Engineer Musa Nimrod thanked Zone 3 volleyball executives for allowing Nigeria host the championship for the second time in a row.

He said the championship is steadily developing volleyball in the West Africa region.

Nimrod said, “Since the return of the Zone 3 championships, the level of competitiveness among clubs in the region has improved drastically. In some years to come West Africa will be a force to reckon with by the grace of God”.

Dare Kuti

Australia to host France in 2019 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas – Semifinals and World Group and World Group II Play-off Results

The ITF has announced the final results of the 2019 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals and World Group and World Group II play-off ties taking place on 20-21 April.

Australia will host France in the Fed Cup Final on 9-10 November. In the semifinals, Australia defeated Belarus 3-2 in Brisbane, while France overcame Romania 3-2 in Rouen.

Czech Republic, USA, Germany and Spain won their World Group play-offs, while Russia, Japan, Great Britain and Slovakia all won their World Group II play-offs.

WORLD GROUP SEMI-FINALS

FRANCE defeated ROMANIA 3-2
Venue
: Kindarena, Rouen, FRA (clay – indoor)

Simona Halep (ROU) d. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 63 61
Caroline Garcia (FRA) d. Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) 63 63
Simona Halep (ROU) d. Caroline Garcia (FRA) 67(6) 63 64
Pauline Parmentier (FRA) d. Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 63 26 62
Caroline Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) d. Simona Halep/Monica Niculescu (ROU) 57 63 64

AUSTRALIA defeated BELARUS 3-2
Venu
e: Pat Rafter Arena, Brisbane, AUS (hard – outdoor)
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) d. Samantha Stosur (AUS) 75 57 63
Ashleigh Barty (AUS) d. Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 76(2) 63
Ashleigh Barty (AUS) d. Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 62 62
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Samantha Stosur (AUS) 61 61
Ashleigh Barty/Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Victoria Azarenka/Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 75 36 62

WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

CZECH REPUBLIC defeated CANADA 4-0
Venue
: National Tennis Centre, Prostejov, CZE (clay – indoor)
Karolina Muchova (CZE) d. Rebecca Marino (CAN) 63 60
Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) d. Leylah Annie Fernandez (CAN) 64 61
Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) d. Rebecca Marino (CAN) 63 64
Karolina Muchova (CZE) v Leylah Annie Fernandez (CAN) – not played
Barbora Krejcikova/Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Gabriela Dabrowski/Sharon Fichman (CAN) 76(4) 75

USA defeated SWITZERLAND 3-2
Venue: Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, USA (hard – indoor)
Viktorija Golubic (SUI) d. Madison Keys (USA) 62 63
Sloane Stephens (USA) d. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 64 63
Sloane Stephens (USA) d. Viktorija Golubic (SUI) 63 62
Sofia Kenin (USA) d. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 63 76(4)
Ylena In-Albon/Conny Perrin (SUI) d. Jennifer Brady/Jessica Pegula (USA) 75 62

SPAIN defeated BELGIUM 3-2
Venue
: Lange Munte Kortrijk, Kortrijk, BEL (hard – indoor)
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) d. Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 63 46 64
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) d. Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 63 62
Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL) d. Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 64 06 64
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) d. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 62 61
Garbine Muguruza/Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) d. Ysaline Bonaventure/Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 76(4) 26 62

GERMANY defeated LATVIA 3-1
Venue
: Arena Riga, Riga, LAT (hard – indoor)
Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) 75 64
Julia Goerges (GER) d. Diana Marcinkevica (LAT) 64 46 61
Mona Barthle (GER) d. Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) 64 63
Diana Marcinkevica (LAT) v Andrea Petkovic (GER) not played
Jelena Ostapenko/Daniela Vismane (LAT) d Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Andrea Petkovic (GER) 61 63

WORLD GROUP II PLAY-OFFS

RUSSIA defeated ITALY 4-0
Venue
: CSKA Indoor Track and Field Complex, Moscow, RUS (clay – indoor)
Anastasia Potapova (RUS) d. Martina Trevisan (ITA) 26 63 61
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 76(4) 76(5)
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Martina Trevisan (ITA) 64 63
Anastasia Potapova (RUS) v Jasmine Paolini (ITA) – not played
Vlada Koval/Anastasia Potapova (RUS) d. Sara Errani/Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 46 63 [10-7]

JAPAN defeated NETHERLANDS 4-0
Venue
: ITC Utsubo Tennis Center, Osaka, JPN (hard – outdoor)
Misaki Doi (JPN) d. Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 63 64
Nao Hibino (JPN) d. Bibiane Schoofs (NED) 61 62
Misaki Doi (JPN) d. Bibiane Schoofs (NED) 63 62
Nao Hibino (JPN) v Richel Hogenkamp (NED) – not played
Shuko Aoyama/Eri Hozumi (JPN) d. Lesley Kerkhove/Demi Schuurs (NED) 63 36 [10-6]

Photo credit: ITF

GREAT BRITAIN defeated KAZAKHSTAN 3-1
Venue
: Copper Box Arena, London, GBR (hard – indoor)
Johanna Konta (GBR) d. Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 46 63 62
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) d. Katie Boulter (GBR) 36 62 76(6)
Johanna Konta (GBR) d. Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 46 62 75
Katie Boulter (GBR) d. Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 67(1) 64 61
Harriet Dart/Heather Watson (GBR) v Anna Danilina/Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) – not played

SLOVAKIA defeated BRAZIL 3-1
Venue
: AXA Arena NTC, Bratislava, SVK (clay – indoor)
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Carolina Meligeni Rodrigues Alves (BRA) 61 61
Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) d. Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) 63 63
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) 76(3) 60
Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) v Carolina Meligeni Rodrigues Alves (BRA) – not played
Carolina Meligeni Rodrigues Alves/Luisa Stefani (BRA) d. Viktoria Kuzmova/Rebecca Sramkova (SVK) 61 63

BALA BANKS ON UNBEATEN RUN FOR ENYIMBA’S VISIT TO LOBI

Enyimba forward, Reuben Bala has said that the team will look to protect their current unbeaten run when they face Lobi Stars in the Nigeria Professional Football League at the Aper Aku Stadium on today.

The People’s Elephant, in second position, are two places and points ahead of Sunday’s opponents, although Lobi will look to approach the fixture buoyed by an impressive 1-1 draw at leaders Rangers International in midweek.

Enyimba’s last lose was in early February – a 2-1 slump at Wikki Tourists and with the seven times champions posting results in all nine subsequent matches, Bala believes his side can draw inspiration from their current run as they look to pick the goods in Makurdi.

“Going unbeaten in nine matches is something good for the players,” Bala noted.

“Those four matches we drew away was a boost of morale for us and I believe that mentality is still in the team and I believe that going to Lobi is going to get another result.”

Reuben Bala

“This match is very, very, very important to us because from the look of the table, the margin is not that far. Lobi are just behind us so any lose in the match is going to draw us back.

“The team spirit is so high and we are taking this match so important in the sense that we are going there with a winning mentality.”

On top of their unbeaten run, Enyimba have also held a decent defensive record, conceding only twice in their last nine NPFL matches.

Ghana Records First Win At ITTF World Championships In Budapest

Ghana recorded its first ever win at the ITTF World Championships as the duo of Derek Abrefa and Celia Baah-Danso defeated Mauritius’ duo of ARNACHELLUM Allan & RAMASAWMY Caroline 3-1 in the preliminary round of the mixed doubles event.

Playing on centre court at HungExpo in Budapest, the Ghanaian pairs who are combining for the first time in an international tournament toppled their Mauritian counterpart with 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 13-11 to advance to the next stage of the competition.

An excited Derek Abrefa said he hopes to record more wins but admitted that it would be a Herculean task in Budapest.

“It was indeed a good feeling coming back to the biggest competition in the world. I was so excited when I learnt that we will be playing on table one and I just told my partner that we should go in there and give our best. We were familiar with our opponents but we knew it was a different platform and we have to make ourselves and country proud by winning the first match for Ghana in a World Championship in recent times. We are aware that we will be facing stronger opponents as we advance but we will continue to work harder and play harder,” said Abrefa.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – [April 21]: Mixed Doubles – Preliminary Round 1 at the Liebherr 2019 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships on April 21, 2019 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Remy Gros/ITTF)

For Celia Baah-Danso, it was an experience she would not want to forget in a hurry. “I am very much happy featuring in my first World Championship and specially playing on the centre court where the whole world will be watching me. I am also happy that we were able to win the first match and this is awesome and I can’t wait to play the next game. It was a different feeling for me playing on table one where all the cameras focused on you. I hope the experience I garner will be helpful to me in all the competitions I will be playing this year,” she said.

However, Celia Baah-Danso did not start well in the women’s singles as she fell 4-0 to her Indian counterpart.

Stakeholders Commend Standard of Ekiti FA Cup…As Semi-Finalists Emerge

Stakeholders and football enthusiasts in Ekiti State have continued to wax lyrical over the quality and standard of matches played at the ongoing Ekiti FA cup 2019.

Expressing his view during one of the matches, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports in Ekiti State, Yemi Owoseni described as laudable, the influx of football enthusiasts both old and young at the Oluyemi Kayode stadium in Ado-Ekiti during the various matches at the ongoing Ekiti FA cup.

He also noted the maturity and discipline displayed by players, officials and supporters of various teams so far in the competition. As he also expressed optimism that the tempo will be sustained.

Speaking further, he stated that he and other football loving people of the state are looking forward to a glamorous FA cup final. Adding that the sports ministry is willing to give necessary support to the FA.

Meanwhile, semi-finalists have emerged in the competition as one of the favourites, JKF FC thrashed Creamers FC 3-0; Golden FC 1-0 Perfect Touch FC; Don La Chicken FC 2-1 Fashmog FC; and with defending champions, Ekiti United FC trouncing Choice FC 3-1.

The pairings of the semi-finals slated for Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 at the Oluyemi Kayode stadium are; Don La Chicken FC taking on JKF FC in the first game, and Golden FC will tackle Ekiti United FC in the second semi final match.

Akeem Busari

RUGBY: Madagascar Beat Zimbabwe To Earn Under-20 Barthes Cup Promotion

Madagascar’s resilience and crafty ball handling skills got earned them promotion into the Under-20 Barthes Cup after they broke the hearts of spirited Zimbabwe 25-27 at Prince Edward High School.

This win for Madagascar comes of the back on a massive 65-0 against Morocco in their opening match giving them the top spot in the Group.

Zimbabwe paid dearly for another slow start in addition to a series of errors, by half time Madagascar led 15-7, but the host came back fighting leading 25-22 five minutes to the close of the match.

Madagascar were rewarded for their vigilance and came back with a runaway try in the final moments.

Zimbabwe head coach Farai ‘Bob’ Mahari lamented his team’s costly errors.

“A slow start in the first half affected us and we will have to review what went wrong

We made mistakes and they punished us for it and at this level decent teams will punish you. So yes it was mistakes mistakes mistakes.

You can never fault the energy of the boys, they wanted to play but they were probably not doing the right things in the right places,” said Mahari.

Meanwhile Morocco will be relegated from Group B after losing 38-6 to Ivory Coast to finish at the bottom of the log.

Group B Results Summary:
17 April Zimbabwe 26-10 Ivory Coast
17 April Madagascar 65-0 Morocco
20 April Ivory Coast 38-6 Morocco
20 April Zimbabwe 25-27 Madagascar

U17 AFCON: Eaglets Top Group After 1-1 Draw With Uganda

Two-time champions Nigeria finished as winners of Group A of the ongoing Africa U17 Cup of Nations in Tanzania after forcing Uganda to a 1-1 draw at the Chamazi Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.

In a pattern that has stuck with them since the tournament began, the Golden Eaglets created a basketful of chances, wasting them one after the other, starting from Akinkunmi Amoo’s poor touch after a sweet team move in the 17th minute.

Three minutes later, Wisdom Ubani lashed a shot narrowly over the bar from a free-kick, and at the other end, Uganda came close to taking the lead when Samson Kasozi headed the ball against the upright from a corner.

Nigeria had another narrow escape in the 25th minute as the East Africans put their feet on the throttle. Four minutes later, Amoo wasted too much time when clear on goal, and on the dot of half time, with the goal at his mercy, the striker headed the ball far away from goal.

Uganda’s goalkeeper Jack Komakech saved from Fawaz Abdullahi and Ubani within two minutes of the restart, and in the 58th minute, Andrew Kawooya rocked goalkeeper Sunday Stephen’s crossbar with a fierce drive from a free-kick.

In the 70th minute, Uganda drew blood as the Nigeria defenceline ball-watched from a corner kick. Davis Ssekajja’s pull only got a slight touch from Sunday Stephen, and substitute John Alou had the simplest task of nodding into an empty net.

Golden Eaglets and their officials at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Wednesday before taking off for Tanzania

Two minutes later, with the goalkeeper to beat, Wisdom Ubani – who got a brace against Tanzania on the opening day but is yet to add to that despite his high work rate and activity – wasted another clear chance. But a minute later, Nigeria were level as Ibraheem Jabaar read a long pass from substitute Olakunle Olusegun quite well and pushed it beyond onrushing goalkeeper Komakech with the Ugandan defence in no man’s land.

Two minutes later, a typical fierce Ubani shot was punched away by Komakech.

In Wednesday’s semi finals, the Golden Eaglets will tango with the second –placed team in Group B, which would be sorted out on Sunday as leaders Cameroon confront Senegal and second –placed Guinea tackle Morocco.

Angola join Nigeria in the semi finals from Group A, following their 4-2 defeat of Tanzania, as the host nation ended up losing all three group phase matches, conceding 12 goals.

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