Sharapova Beats Halep to Clinch Her Second French Open Title | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Sharapova Beats Halep to Clinch Her Second French Open Title

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on June 7, 2014

Maria Sharapova survived another three-set match to clinch her fifth Grand Slam title in the French Open final on Saturday.

The Russian held her nerves in the deciding set of a dicey final against fourth seed Simona Halep to a 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4 win, claiming her second Roland Garros title at the Philippe Chatrier in 3 hours 2 minutes, two years after winning her first.

Halep, playing in her first Majors final, enjoyed her fair share of momentum in a ding-dong contest best remembered for some shaky service, going on to inspire the first three-set final since Jennifer Capriati and Kim Clijster back in 2001.

Maria Sharapova Wins Her Second French Open Title Against Simona Halep.

Sharapovas iron will conquered all- including Sam Stossur, Garbine Muguruza and Eugenie Bouchard- in the end, extending her record in deciding sets on clay to 20-0.

At 4-3 in the second set the 27-year-old seventh seed held two break points, but her Romanian opponent saved both. In the tie-breaker, Sharapova got within two points of victory at 5-3, but Halep took the next four to claim the set and force the game into a decider.

This is the toughest Grand Slam final Ive ever played, Sharapova, who has won the Wimbledon (2004), US Open (2006), and the Australian Open (2008) one each, said.

I never thought seven, eight years ago, that I would win more Roland Garroses when I was 27 years old than any other Grand Slam.

Its a tournament, when I was young and growing up, I wanted to win.

To think that Ive won it two times is, I dont know-so emotional right now, I cant even talk.

Sharapova took an eight-minute toilet break after losing the second set tie-break. She went ahead 4-2 on return but her 22-year-old opponent broke back to 4-all.

It turned out that was Haleps last shot at a first Grand Slam title as Sharapova upped the ante and wouldnt lose another point. She broke to love for 5-4 with a backhand winner, then holding at love by forcing a backhand error from Halep on match point.

USA vs. Nigeria Preview: Musa Doubtful; Omeruo, Echiejile Ruled Out | INFORMATION NIGERIA

USA vs. Nigeria Preview: Musa Doubtful; Omeruo, Echiejile Ruled Out

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on June 7, 2014

Elderson Echiejile, Kenneth Omeruo and Ahmed Musa missed the Super Eagles training session at the EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida, ahead of Saturday nights final World Cup warm-up before the teams departure for Brazil.

The trio have certainly been ruled out of Saturdays 11pm kick-off against the US national team (USMNT).

A scan result of Echiejiles muscle injury is still inconclusive. The Monaco of France defender suffered the injury in the first-half of the Tuesdays warm-up against Greece.

Echiejile, Omeruo and Musa Were Absent from the Super Eagles Training on Saturday. Image: Twitter @NgSuperEagles

We dont want to rush things, we are talking of the World Cup here, not just any other competition, so we have to be careful what we say regarding our top players, Keshi cautioned.

CSKA Moscow forward Ahmed Musa has some tightness in his thigh, after the match against Greece in Philadelphia.

The good news is the return of FC Ashdods defender Juwon Oshaniwa from a bout of malaria. Oshaniwa will most likely play his first game for Nigeria since the Afcon 2013 final in February 2013.

The African champions have recorded just two goals and conceded the same number in their pre-World Cup tune-up games so far.

Both nations will use Sunday morning (Nigerian time) match to finalise their strategies before leaving for the South American host nation of the tournament.

The Eagles were faulted for their lack of goal threat in the goalless draw against Brazil-bound Greece, with a 25-yard Ogenyi Onazi shot in the closing minutes of the encounter being the most salient of the teams effort at goal.

Nigerias defence have had to withstand serious pressure from opponents in their first two pre-tournament friendlies and were lucky not to have fallen behind against the 2004 European champions.

However, Keshi must find a way out for his attackers, who in less than two weeks of camping have not gelled with a midfield formation that boasts of the world revered John Obi Mikel.

Coach Jurgen Klinsmanns side have recorded two out of two victories in their warm-up games so far and will look to make a statement of their readiness for a group which includes Germany, Portugal and another West African nation Ghana.

Sunderlands Jozy Altidore and Seattle Sounders Clint Dempsey have been used up top by Klinsmann in a diamond 4-4-2 formation, but the formers lack of goal since October last year is a major concern for the Yankees.

The USMNT have followed a 2-0 victory against Azerbaijan with a 2-1 win over Turkey, both opponents who are not competing in Brazil.

They were 3-2 winners against the Eagles on June 11, 1995, in Foxborough, Mass.

Tit Bit: Berti Vogts, the USMNTs special advisor through the 2014 Fifa World Cup, coached Nigeria from 2007-08- a period in which Nigeria lost out of the 2008 Afcon tournament to hosts Ghana in the semi-finals.

Nigerias Starting 11 vs. USMNT (Unofficial): Enyeama; Oshaniwa, Yobo (c), Oboabona, Efe; Onazi, Mikel, Azeez; Odemwingie, Ameobi, Moses

Injured Marco Reus Ruled Out of World Cup | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Injured Marco Reus Ruled Out of World Cup

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on June 7, 2014

Germany have confirmed Marco Reuz as the recent World Cup casualty.The Borussia Dortmund forward was in tears on his way out of the pitch, after going over an ankle in Fridays 6-1 trouncing of Armenia.

He was immediately sent to hospital and replaced by Arsenals Lukas Podolski. Scans have revealed he has tore an anterior ligament above his left ankle and will not be boarding the plane to Brazil on Saturday evening.

Ankle Injury Rules Marco Reus Out of Germanys World Cup Squad.

Both for him and for us it is extremely bitter, coach Joachim Loew told reporters. Marco was in top form and both in the training camp and in the friendlies against Cameroon and Armenia left an outstanding impression.

He had played a central role in our planning for Brazil.

Reus injury earned 22-year-old Sampdoria defender Shkodran Mustafi an unexpected last-minute ticket. Mustafi, whose only cap came in May against Poland, was one of the three players excluded from Loews final squad earlier in the week.

It was not about replacing Marco Reus in the same position, Loew added. We have a lot of quality in that position and a lot of options with Lukas Podolski, Andre Schuerrle, Mario Goetze, Thomas Mueller, Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler and Toni Kroos.

That is why we decided for an option in defence and Shkodran had been convincing in our training camp, he is fit and we have full confidence in him.

About nine world football stars have been ruled out of the 20th edition of the Fifa World Cup through injury, a list which includes obvious match changers like Franck Ribery of France, Radamel Falcao of Colombia, Italys Guiseppe Rossi, Hollands Kelvin Strootsman, Spains Jese Rodriguez and Englands Theo Walcott.

Germanys goal in their final warm-up match came from Andre Schuerrle, Lukas Podolski, Benedikt Howedes, Miroslav Klose (his record 69th international goal) and a Mario Gotze brace.

They begin their quest for a first title in 18 years against Portugal on June 16 before playing USA and Ghana.

Echiejile Ruled Out of World Cup, Uzoenyi Returns to Nigeria Squad | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Echiejile Ruled Out of World Cup, Uzoenyi Returns to Nigeria Squad

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on June 7, 2014

Elderson Echiejile is ruled out of the World Cup due to injury.

The Super Eagles left-back was stretchered off the pitch in the first-half of the warm-up game against Greece last Tuesday.

He has a cut in his muscle, which will take him at least two weeks to heal properly.

Injured Elderson Echiejile Joins Sunday Mba and Nnamdi Oduamadi Back Home as The Rest of the Super Eagles Squad Heads For Brazil.

The teams technical crew are unwilling to risk the situation and have recalled on-loan Enugu Rangers midfielder Chrisantus Ejike Uzoenyi back to the squad after missing Coach Stephen Keshis final cut from the 30-man squad.

Uzoenyi, 22, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 African Nations Championship will link up with the squad ahead of his first World Cup appearance in Brazil .

Elderson, 26, has earned 39 international caps and scored twice. He made his World Cup debut in South Africa four years ago.

Should Arsenal Sign Fabregas? | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Should Arsenal Sign Fabregas?

Posted by: @femi4arsenal on June 8, 2014

Much of what have been flooding the media horizon aside the WorldCup, has been the story of a prodigal son returning back to his former club, or joining a rival and instantly becoming an enemy.

As Informaion Nigeria reported last week, Barcelona are prepared to listen to offers for Cesc Fabregas as the player does not fit in Luis Enriques plans for next season.

At first he was strongly linked to a return to Arsenal, the club that made him a WorldClass prospect, but a journalist for the BBC exclusively spoke to our sport writer that the North London club don’t seem interested in bringing him back.

Mesut Ozil, signed last summer, was ostensibly the reason for his shun. The German international plays a similar role to Cesc, and with the amount of money spent on his transfer, not also forgetting his brilliance and vision, it would be silly to keep him on the bench.

Recently, Chelsea are in pole position to land the Spaniard, and that could certainly uproot hate and disgust from the Arsenal faithful, who had to bear the torture of their Ex Captain Robin Vanperse joining Manchester United.

Do you want Arsenal to consider bringing back Cesc Fabregas to add to their burgeoning midfield options?

‘OX will be fit for World Cup’ | INFORMATION NIGERIA

OX will be fit for World Cup

Posted by: @femi4arsenal on June 8, 2014

Oxlade Chamberlain

England manager Roy Hodgson has stated that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will recover in time to participate in the upcoming World Cup.

The Arsenal winger suffered knee medial ligament damage against Ecuador on Wednesday, but the injury is not quite as bad as first feared.

The 20-year-old wasnt fit enough to take his place in the Three Lions matchday squad to play Honduras, but he will be ready to head to South America on Sunday.

Speaking to ITV, Hodgson declared: Oxlade-Chamberlain is making good progress, I think hell make the tournament for sure.

Well be prepared. Its time for the real thing next week. It couldnt have gone much better this week.

Hodgsons side were left frustrated by the Central American outfit after they put in a number of bruising challenges that eventually led to the sending off of Brayan Beckeles.

And the former Switzerland coach admitted that the fixture in Miami had been one of the more frustrating of his management career.

They were quite physical and it was a real stop-start game. It was one of the most frustrating games Ive been involved in in a long time.

It was a giant attack versus defence but we unfortunately didnt take the chances. Our tempo and effort to score in the second half was commendable but it was a frustrating game and one Ill be quick to forget.{GOAL}

USA vs. Nigeria: Final Score 2-1 | INFORMATION NIGERIA

USA vs. Nigeria: Final Score 2-1

Posted by: Deolu on June 8, 2014

he United States finished off a perfect Send-Off Series with a 2-1 win over Nigeria in front of over 50,000 fans at Everbank Field in Jacksonville on Saturday. The victories followed up wins over Azerbaijan and Turkey, sending the U.S. onto Brazil for the World Cup on a three-match win streak.

Jozy Altidore netted both goals for the U.S., giving the striker the big breakout match he needed after not scoring for club or country since December 4, 2013.

The U.S. started sluggishly, giving Nigeria the ball, but they did well at the back to keep goalkeeper Tim Howard from being tested. After 10 minutes, the U.S. began to find their stride and once they did, they began to dominate the match.

Jurgen Klinsmanns squad kept the ball and created chances. Even when their finishing or before that, touch to reel in the final ball failed them, they were clearly on the front foot. But they finally broke through in the 32nd minute.

A nifty play by Alejandro Bedoya freed the Americans up down the right before the midfielder fired a cross for Fabian Johnson, who got to the ball by the endline and redirected it for Altidore right in front. All Altidore had to do from there was tap the ball in and the U.S. had a 1-0 lead.

The U.S. kept pushing and finished the first half well. They kept the pressure on Nigeria and were the dominant team going into the break.

Little changed at the start of the second half, as the Yanks continued to keep the ball and push for another goal. Even when Nigeria got on the ball, they failed to create chances and Howard was rarely challenged.

In the 68th minute, Altidore got on the board again when he brought down a long ball and found himself one-on-one with a Nigerian defender. He faced goal, got to within 15 yards, cut in and ripped a shot towards the near post. The shot could have been saved by Super Eagles keeper Vincent Enyeama, but it found the back of the net and Altidore had himself a brace.

Once the U.S. got a two-goal lead, Klinsmann brought on Omar Gonzalez and went to three at the back, but the move backfired. Instead of protecting the lead, the defense got shaky, and they conceded a penalty in the 86th minute. Matt Besler committed the foul, but Gonzalez and Cameron were both poor too and Victor Moses converted from the spot.

Still, the U.S. held on for the win, and they now head to Brazil with three straight wins in hand.

United States: Howard; Johnson, Cameron, Besler, Beasley; Bradley, Beckerman, Jones, Dempsey, Bedoya; Altidore.

Goals: Altidore 32, Altidore 68.

Nigeria: Enyeama, Oshaniwa, Yobo, Ambrose, Oboabona, Azeez, Mikel, Moses, Onazi, Osaze, Ameobi.

Goals: Moses 86

Eagles Demand World Cup Appearance Fee- Report | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Eagles Demand World Cup Appearance Fee- Report

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on June 8, 2014

Super Eagles players have met with the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to demand an appearance fee for this weeks World Cup in Brazil.

Key figures in the team, led by captain Joseph Yobo and John Obi Mikel have met with the NFF president and some of his officials to demand for their own share of the cash Fifa will pay the country for at least featuring in the first round of the World Cup, a top source is quoted on AfricanFootball.com as saying.

The NFF have already agreed a $10,000-per-man match bonus for a first round game win for the 2014 World Cup.

Nigeria Football Federation.

The African champions have already earned more than $9m for qualification and participation in the group stages of the tournament with options of further increment should they progress to the knock-out stage.

Each players were paid an appearance fee of $3000 each for the warm-up matches against Scotland, Greece and USA.

Were it not for the intervention of the Presidency last year, Nigeria could have missed out on the Confederation Cup- the traditional World Cup dress rehearsal- due to pay dispute.

Meanwhile, the NFF Code of Conduct for all member of its national teams is fully enacted to check the activities of the countrys internationals on national duty.

The Eagles will depart USA for Sao Paolo, Brazil, on Tuesday.

Friendly: France 8-0 Jamica | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Friendly: France 8-0 Jamica

Posted by: @femi4arsenal on June 8, 2014

Benzema

Karim Benzema scored twice as France banged Jamaica 8-0 in their final World Cup warm-up fixture on Sunday evening.

Blaise Matiuidi and Antoine Griezmann also netted twice, while Yohan Cabaye and Olivier Giroud assisted one goal apiece in a horribly one-sided affair at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

World Cup: Super Eagles Demand Appearance Fee From NFF | INFORMATION NIGERIA

World Cup: Super Eagles Demand Appearance Fee From NFF

Posted by: Deolu on June 9, 2014

The Super Eagles reportedly demand from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to pay them appearance fee for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Super Eagles demand appearance fee for the World Cup

Despite the fact that the players are paid the match bonus, starting from $10,000-a-man for a first round match win, the Eagles led by Joseph Yobo and Mikel Obi were said to have met with the Federation president Aminu Maigari demanding for the additional payment for at least featuring in the first round of the World Cup, AfricanFootball.com reports with reference to the top source.

Nigeria will earn over $9 million for qualification and participation in the first round of the 2014 World Cup. More benefits are coming, if Keshis men reach the knockout stages .

For the Scotland, Greece and USA friendlies each team player received an appearance fee of $3,000.

For comparison, their Ghanaian colleagues are on an appearance fee of $75,000-a-man for the 23 players, included in the final squad.

It would be recalled that arguments on the issue started for the Super Eagles at the 1998 World Cup and continued recently jeopardizing country participation in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. It took intervention of the Presidency to resolve the conflict.