Epunchng - Most read newspaper in Nigeria Wednesday November 15 2017 - Page 45

sports WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2017 45 Fans attack Argentina coach Festus Abu A rgentina c o a c h Jorge Sampaoli came under fierce attack after La Albiceleste’s stunning 4-2 defeat by Nigeria in their friendly match in Krasnodar, Russia, on Tuesday. The Super Eagles recovered from 2-0 down to beat the Lionel Messi- less South American powerhouse after they ran riot in the second half at the Krasnodar Stadium. And Argentina fans, whose team had beaten Nigeria four times in a competitive affair and once in a friendly encounter, had expected a whitewash. But goals from Kelechi Iheanacho, Brian Idowu and Alex Iwobi’s brace downplayed Ever Banega’s Bonus: NFF signs agreement with Eagles T he Nigeria Football Federation on Tuesday in Krasnodar signed an agreement with the Super Eagles ahead of the World Cup in Russia next year. According to the NFF, the agreement is aimed at avoiding issues which affected Nigeria in previous finals. NFF president Amaju Pinnick, vice-presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko, General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi and Technical and Development Committee chairman Yusuf Fresh represented the NFF, while Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr, Salisu Yusuf, Mikel Obi, Ahmed Musa, Kenneth Omeruo and William Ekong represented the Eagles during the signing ceremony. Pinnick told thenff.com that the NFF was determined to put behind it all the crises and confrontations that bedevilled African teams’ participation at the World Cup in the past. Dikko said, “We have done it; we have concluded negotiations and come to agreement with the team as regards bonuses, allowances and share of income from FIFA for the 2018 World Cup. Every detail has been agreed on match bonus for each match and each round up to the final, as well as share of income from FIFA money for each round until the stage we are able to get to at the finals. “We also agreed on preparations, such as how much players will be paid for the friendly matches, including how and when the money would be paid. We even delved into how the NFF would apply the funds due to it from FIFA after paying the players their share.” Nigeria captain Mikel expressed his delight at the development, praising the NFF for the agreement. He said, “We are very happy and excited. This is the first time since I started playing for the team that I would see everything regarding preparations and bonuses and allowances put down in black and white and a binding agreement executed.” P period of time, previous administrations have made promises to athletes and failed but with the change mantra, this administration promised to reward the gold winning basketball team and they have fulfilled their promise.” “Like Oliver Twist, we will always ask for more. As you are aware, we qualified for the World Cup in Spain next year and we are gearing up for that as well as the Commonwealth Games. “We ask for the Federal Government’s support ahead of all these assignments, although, we are also looking outward to get sponsorship so that we don’t put everything on the government. We however thank you so much and look forward to seeing that all these come to fruition.” • Dolphins’ Bintu Bhadmus (left) on duty against Ghana’s Braves of CEPS during their friendly match in Lagos...on Tuesday. Dolphins won 55-46. Photo: Saheed Olugbon Lionel Messi was absent from the tie but Angel di Maria, Nicolas Otamendi, Sergio Aguero, Javier Mascherano led the Argentine superstars while Idowu and goalkeeper Francis Uzoho got their first Nigeria caps. It was the second time the Eagles would beat their more illustrious opponents, and Gernot Rohr’s team did it in clinical fashion. The Nigerians fell behind to the star-studded Argentines in the 28th minute after goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi committed a costly blunder, inexplicably handling the ball outside his box, when he should have kicked it away. Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega tucked in the resultant free-kick, as the 31-year-old Chippa United keeper looked on miserably. The South Americans doubled their lead through Sergio Aguero, the Manchester City striker converting Cristian Pavon’s cross past Akpeyi and the outstretched legs of Williams Troost-Eking and Ola Aina. The goal, his 36th for the Albiceleste, makes Aguero the third-highest scorer in Argentina history after surpassing Hernan Crespo. The City man now has only Lionel Messi (61) and Gabriel Batistuta (54) ahead of him as Argentina’s all-time record scorer. However, Leicester City’s Iheanacho reduced the deficit with a curling free-kick that saw the diving Argentine keeper parry the ball into his Iwobi, Iheanacho, Idowu stun Argentina ’Tana Aiyejina A mkar Perm versatile defender Brian Idowu scored on his debut, Alex Iwobi hit a brace and Kelechi Iheanacho fired in a menacing free-kick as the Super Eagles came from behind to beat two-time world champions Argentina 4-2 in an international friendly in Krasnodar, Russia, on Tuesday. Buhari rewards D’Tigress resident Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday redeemed his promise to reward D’Tigress for winning the 2017 Afrobasket in Mali. According to Nneka Anibeze, media adviser to Sports Minister Solomon Dalung, each player got N1m while the five coaches got N500,000 each. Dalung said sport in Nigeria was moving to greater heights through the support of Buhari. The minister praised the President for his administration’s contribution to the development of sports in Nigeria. Nigeria Basketball Federation vice-president Babs Ogunade also praised Buhari for redeeming his promise to reward the team. He said, “Over a 28th-minute strike and Sergio Aguero’s 36th international goal on the night. Sampaoli, who guided Chile to the 2015 Copa America title, was criticised by fans of the two-time world champions after his team squandered a comfortable 2-0 lead. The majority of the former Sevilla manager’s critics on social media questioned his tactical nous as they expressed their apprehension whether his team would perform at next year’s World Cup. “Sampaoli has less football idea than my old one,” Valeentin Moran wrote on Twitter. “Sampaoli does not have to direct the national team anymore,” Pablo Almeiraa wrote. But Sampaoli defended his team, saying they did their best to win the encounter. He told LA NACION, “