Football

EYE WITNESS PLAYER & MATCH REPORTS

Please click and browse through the reports below:

19 July 2019 Algeria 1 Senegal 0 AFCON final

 

A deflected shot by Baghdad Bounedjah in the opening minutes gives Algeria their second AFCON title.

The Desert Foxes had to survive a penalty decision that was (correctly) annulled by VAR.

 

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14 July 2019 Senegal 1 Tunisia 0 AFCON 2019

 

An own-goal in extra time sends Senegal into the AFCON final and on course for their first title.

Both sides miss second-half penalties before a goalie error gives the Lions of Teranga victory.

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11 July 2019 Algeria 1 Ivory Coast 1 (Algeria won on penalties) AFCON 2019

 

A dramatic penalty shoot-out decides this quarter-final.

As Algeria keep their nerve to set up a meeting with Nigeria in the last four.

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10 July 2019 Nigeria 2 South Africa 1 AFCON 2019

 

A late Wiliam Ekong goal gives the Super Eagles a place in the semi-finals of AFCON 2019.

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23 June 2019 Columbus Crew 0 Sporting Kansas City 1 MLS

 

Harrison Afful (Ghana) - 32-year-old, rated 600k euros, right back, smallish, moves forward readily and often leads the home attacks down his flank, dangerous crosses, but his game ended early with a red card after he held back Gerso.

David Accam (Ghana) - 28-year-old, rated 910k euros, will join Nashville next season, wide left, sadly had to go off with a hamstring injury early in the match.

Gerso (Guinea-Bissau) - KC wide man/forward, 28-year-old, rated 1.5m euros, dangerous pace on the break, setup Nemeth at least once, better second half beginning with a nutmeg and cross for the winning goal, brought down by Afful later on. 

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22 June 2019 FC Cincinnati 0 LA Galaxy 2 MLS

 

 

Kekuta Manneh (Gambia) - 24-year-old, rated 800k euros, left midfield, one of the more dangerous home players, early pacy run, good deliveries from left, testing shot late on, overall solid game.

Emmanuel Boateng (Ghana) - 23-year-old, rated 2.5m euros, LA midfielder, medium height, early left-foot cross, very nice finish for the opening goal, always looked lively across the pitch, booked later and then immediately substituted.

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20 June 2019 Los Angeles FC 3 San Jose Earthquakes 1 US Open Cup

 

LAFC qualify for the last eight of the Open Cup.

And one of their stars was young Ghana midfielder Latif Blessing.

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18 June 2019 USA 4 Guyana 0 CONCACAF Gold Cup

 

New boys Guyana produce a spirited effort against the US.

But a Tyler Boyd double gives the Gold Cup hosts a winning start to their campaign.

 

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16 June 2019 Costa Rica 4 Nicaragua 0 CONCACAF Gold Cup

 

Costa Rica enjoy hosting their first match at the Gold Cup.

Easily beating a well supported but limited Nicaragua.

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9 June 2019 Portugal 1 Netherlands 0 UEFA Nations League final

 

Portugal win the inaugural Nations League with one strike from Goncalo Guedes (rather than Cristiano Ronaldo).

And England claim third place after winning a penalty shoot-out against Switzerland.

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6 June 2019 Netherlands 3 England 1 UEFA Nations League

 

Calamitous England defending contributes to the Dutch victory.

The mass ranks of England fans will have to wait at least another year before they might see the senior England team in a final.

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5 June 2019 Portugal 3 Switzerland 1 UEFA Nations League

 

Another Cristiano Ronaldo masterclass.

Featuring a trademark free kick, an excellent cross conversion, and a brilliant run and finish.

 

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1 June 2019 Liverpool 2 Tottenham 0 UEFA Champions League final

 

Joel Matip (Cameroon) - right-sided centre back, 27-year-old, rated £18m, partnered MOM Virgil van Dijk, doesn't have the passing ability of the Dutchman but provides a solid combination, wins headers, dealt with Harry Kane, maybe fortunate not to be booked, part of a Liverpool side that gave Tottenham few chances.

Mohamed Salah (Egypt) - striker, 26-year-old, rated £135m, decisively converted the early spot-kick, always offered that forward outlet, though given few other chances since Liverpool conceded a lot of possession.

Sadio Mane (Senegal) - striker, 27-year-old, rated £77m, his forward break resulted in the penalty, looked sharp and often presented the most danger to the opposition, but again limited opportunities with LFC less coherent than usual. 

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23 May 2019 Red Star Belgrade 0 Partizan Belgrade 1 Serbian cup final

 

Ben Naboulane (Comoros) - 29-year-old Red Star midfielder, rated £2.70m, medium height, part of a home side that generally failed to sparkle, switched sides but to limited effect, subbed on 69 minutes.

Ricardo Gomes (Cape Verde) - 27-year-old central striker for Partizan, rated £1.58m, some missteps at first but showed good skill and some pace later on, also nice control, came close with a lobbed chance. 

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21 May 2019 Levski Sofia 0 CSKA Sofia 2 Bulgarian League

 

Khaly Thiam (Senegal) - tall holding midfielder for Levski, 25-year-old, rated at £1.35m, patrolled the area in front of the back line, coolly intercepted, won headers, the odd move forward later in the game.

Ali Sowe (Gambia) - bleached hair, striker for CSKA, 24-year-old, rated at £1m, limited chances but did occupy the opposition defenders, some good forward surges.

Janio Bikel (Guinea-Bissau) - late substitute for CSKA, 23-year-old, rated £450k, few opportunities to contribute.

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19 May 2019 Crvena Zvezda 3 Nepredak 0 Serbian League playoff.

 

A night of 1000 flares and a biblical thunderstorm.

Red Star celebrate winning the league and 30 years of their ultras.

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18 May 2019 Varberg 1 Halmstad 0 Superettan

 

Keanin Ayer (South Africa) - tallish right-sided wide man for Varberg, young (19), rated at £68k, generally stayed out wide, one or two missteps, limited effect on match probably contributed to his being subbed on 54 minutes.

Karim Sadat (Ghana) - 27-year-old, solid, medium height, Halmstad forward, rated £180k, can win headers, some decent crosses, also wide left, but one weak finish, subbed on 75.

Thomas Boakye (Ghana) - Halmstad sub. on 58, medium height, 26-year-old, also rated £180k, left midfield, mostly defended, did create one chance with break down left, moved into centre later.

 

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17 May 2019 Brondby 1 Midtjylland 1 (Midtjylland won on penalties) Danish Cup final

 

Paul Onuachu (Nigeria) - very tall 24-year-old Midtjylland striker. rated 2.2m in the transfer market, an Adebayor lookalike, missed a couple of half-chances including a stooping header, maybe could have own aerial duals, intermittent good touches,  but certainly a presence up front. Subbed in extra time.

Frank Onyeka (Nigeria) - 21-year-old attacking midfielder for the winners, rated at 540K, appeared on 66 minutes, nearly reached a dangerous cross, has some pace and looked lively, pushed forward through the centre.

 

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15 May 2019 Lazio 2 Atalanta 0 Coppa Italia final

 

Bastos (Angola) - 27-year-old, rated at 4.5m in the transfer market, medium height, Lazio central defender, often involved early on with right and left-foot passes, mostly solid but some wayward, booked for a tackle from behind then substituted on 35 minutes (either for the booking or the odd misplaced pass - seemed a little harsh and he was applauded by the fans)

Musa Barrow (Gambia) - 20-year-old late substitute forward, rated at 5.4m in the transfer market, came on when Atalanta were reeling from a late Lazio goal, unable to affect the outcome.

 

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11 May 2019 Extremadura 0 Real Zaragoza 3 Segunda

 

James Igbekeme (Nigeria) - 23-year-old, stocky midfielder, rated £630k in the transfer market, left foot emphasis, one or two misplaced passes early on, moved further forward changing with Javi Ros, his interception led to the first goal, solid in the second half, injured late on and was replaced.

Jannick Buyla (Equatorial Guinea) - young midfielder, a late replacement for Igbekeme, solid build, right footed.

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3 May 2019 Gornik Zabrze 1 Wisla Krakow 2 Polish Premier

 

Emmanuel Kumah (Ghana) - late substitute for Wisla, nineteen-year-old attacking midfielder, showed good intent and some left foot skills in the short time he was on the field.

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1 May 2019 Rapid Wien 0 Red Bull Salzburg 2 Austrian cup final

 

Jerome Onguene (Cameroon) - Red Bull centre back, 21 years old, right foot pass, strong in the air, some good blocks, looked to organise back line, went up for corners, solid overall.

Diadie Samassekou (Mali) - Red Bull holding midfielder, 23 years old, a few early missteps, but kept in position as a defender in front of the back line, again solid overall.

Aliou Badji (Senegal) - tall, rangy Rapid striker who came on for the last 20 minutes, won some headers but struggled to affect the outcome.

Patson Daka (Zambia) - young forward substitute for Red Bull, missed a decent chance went put through just after coming on and scuffed a pass later on.  But his team had already secured the win.

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28 April 2019 Lille 5 Nimes 0 Ligue 1

 

Youssouf Kone (Mali) - Lille left-back, quick to go forward, battled with Thioub, left foot delivery, supplied the excellent cross for the second goal, overall very good, cramped near the end.

Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Cast) - coveted wide man, mostly left foot, long-striding, better in the second half as were his team, pacy though not at the Mbappe level. 

Herve Lybohy (Ivory Coast) - left-sided centre back for Nimes, looked solid but often exposed especially in the second period, struggled, as did the rest of his defence.

Denis Bouanga (Gabon) - Nimes wide man, stayed on the left with the odd move inside, right footed, lacks pace, subbed on 75 minutes.

Sada Thioub (Senegal) - right-sided Nimes wide man, did move inside to get involved, tough against Kone, some decent surges, taken off with 5 minutes remaining.

Rashid Alioui (Morocco) - brought on as Nimes striker in the second half, but inevitably found it hard to make an impact, often isolated as his team concentrated on defending.

 

 

 

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27 April 2019 Paris St-Germain 2 Rennes 2 (Rennes won on penalties) Coupe de France final

(Rennes)

Ismaila Sarr (Senegal) - played wide right, has pace, combined with Traore, right foot cross, converted winning Rennes penalty.

N'Baye Niang (Senegal) - tall central striker, linked with Ben Arfa, some good touches, excellent turn and shot that clipped the post, looked a handful, booked later on. Scored the initial penalty in the shootout.

Remy Bensebaini (Algeria) - left back, talented left delivery, got forward, clashed with Neymar, booked later on for arguing. Converted penalty.

Hamari Traore (Mali) - right back, often drove forward, some skill, his cross caused the first Rennes goal.

Mexer (Mozambique) - centre back, managed to cope with Mbappe and Neymar though exposed at times, headed in from a corner for the equaliser, was booked, excused penalty duties.

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6 April 2019 Foggia 1 Spezia 0 Serie B

Emmanuel Gyasi (Ghana) - right midfield for Spezia, solid, made various runs in the first half without involvement, moved inside for more play, booked for foul, also tracked back, more touches in the second period, subbed on 75. 

David Okereke (Nigeria) - tall Spezia striker, early touches, tried combinations with da Cruz, control looked ok, showed some pace, moved to wing later on but overall limited.

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3 April 2019 Huesca 3 Celta Vigo 3 La Liga

Sofiane Boufal (Morocco) - played wide left for Celta, limited action in a moderate first half, recovered from a poor back-pass to play a more influential part in the second period. Had a hand in two of the goals, often showing deceptive pace down the left. Subbed late on.

Ryad Boudebouz (Algeria) - came on after 20 minutes to play wide right, left foot free-kicks, cracked a shot against the bar late in the first half, scored third from an Aspas pass, very useful left foot.

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2 April 2019 Espanyol 1 Getafe 1 La Liga

Djene Dakonam (Togo) - very solid right-sided centre back for Getafe, some quality interceptions, a few slight errors but able to recover, also got away with a miskick. Able to distribute with both feet. Booked later in the second period.

 

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23 March 2019 Macclesfield Town v Stevenage League 2

Sol Campbell's Macclesfield score a late equaliser to gain a valuable point in their battle against relegation from the Football League.

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17 March 2019 Reims 1 Nantes 0 Ligue 1

 

Edouard Mendy (Senegal) - Reims goalie, claimed crosses competently, confident distribution, generally solid with limited threats.

Yunis Abdelhamid (Morocco) - part of the central home defence, handled Coulibaly, left foot pass.

Jacques Romero (Togo) - Reims captain, holding midfield, often started moves especially in first half, mostly right foot pass.

Abdul Rahman Baba (Ghana) - left back, left foot pass, often ventured forward, booked.

Moussa Doumbia (Mali) and Hassane Kamara (Gambia) - both appeared as late home subs. Both put themselves about.

Kalifa Coulibaly (Mali) - Tall long-striding Nantes central striker, strong in the air, right footed, less effective in the second period.

Charles Traore (Mali) - left back for visitors, medium height, early exposure, generally limited going forward.

Abdoulaye Toure (Mali) - attacking midfield, covers the central area, some forward breaks, sub'd on 83 (looked disappointed)

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15 March 2019 Beziers 1 Auxerre 0 Ligue 2

 

Medhi Mostefa (Algeria) - home captain, centre back, solid, covered threats, mostly error-free.

Emmanuel Banda (Zambia) - midfield, nice left foot, a couple of misplaced passes, free-kick taker, subbed late on.

Simon Gbegnon (Togo) - centre back, combined with Mostefa, struggled at times against pace, one bad pass nearly cost Beziers.

Ahoueke Denkey (Togo) - late sub. did put himself about up front.

Jordan Adeoti (Benin) - visiting captain, tall central midfielder, right foot pass, good range of passes.

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11 March 2019 SL Benfica 2 Belenenses 2 Portuguese Primeira Liga

Zacarya Bergdich (Morocco) - Belenenses left wing back, left foot pass, early involvement down his flank, a few misplaced defensive passes, survived a handball appeal, under pressure later in the game.

Pierre Sagna (Senegal) - brief late appearance at full-back for the visitors.

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10th March 2019 Santa Clara 0 Desportivo Aves 0 Portuguese Primeira Liga

Mamadou Cande (Guinea-Bissau) - chunky home left wing-back, goes forward readily, left foot delivery, often involved.

Mama Samba Balde (Guinea-Bissau) - Aves tall midfielder, ranged across the middle, some pacy driving surges forward, had a chance in the first half, less active in the second period, subbed on 83 minutes.

Carlos Ponk (Cape Verde) - right centre back for the visitors, solid, some sharp interceptions, did get a yellow card for reaction.

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14th January 2019 India 0 Bahrain 1 Asian Cup

India held out for 90 minutes and were on course for qualification for the knockout stages.

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22nd December 2018 Real Madrid 4 Al Ain 1 FIFA Club World Cup final ZSC Abu Dhabi

Strongly favoured to win another Club World Cup Real Madrid, in the end, cruised towards their record fourth title.

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19th December 2018 Real Madrid 3 Kashima Antlers 1 FIFA Club World Cup

Welsh star Gareth Bale scored all three goals for Real Madrid as they eased into another final of the Club World Cup.

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18th December 2018 Esperance 1 Guadalajara 1 (Esperance won on penalties) FIFA Club World Cup

Tunisians Esperance recovered some credence after their comprehensive defeat in their first match to claim 5th place at the Club World Cup.

The game was characterised by VAR-related penalty decisions. For both teams.

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