Sports

Don’t Repeat Nyantakyi’s Mistakes – Elvis Afriyie Ankrah Cautions Kurt Okraku

ormer Sports Minister under the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has advised Mr. Kurt Okraku, the President of the Ghana Football Association to learn from the mistakes of his predecessor, Mr. Kwesi Nyantaky.

He said Kurt Okraku should not repeat the mistakes of his predecessor Kwesi Nyantakyi.

Mr. Nyantakyi has been banned for life from all football-related activities by FIFA after he was caught in the Anas Number documentary.

According to the former Sports Minister, it will be too premature to judge Kurt Okraku as he has not even spent a year as the GFA boss.

“Kurt Okraku has not spent even a year as the GFA president so let’s give him the opportunity to prove himself,” he told Kumasi FM

“Let’s together support him with prayers to succeed but he must learn lessons from his predecessor and make sure he does not repeat those same mistakes.”

Kwasi Nyantakyi was the GFA boss for nearly 13 years.

Man City open EPL title defence with 2-0 win at Arsenal

Soccer Football – Premier League – Arsenal v Manchester City – Emirates Stadium, London, Britain – August 12, 2018 Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin in action with Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Harrison Afful sets a new record in the MLS

Ghana defender Harrison Afful has chalked another historic mark by improving his assists record with Columbus Crew in the MLS.

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Defender Harrison Afful provided the assist on Patrick Mullins’ 24th-minute goal during Crew SC’s 3-2 win over the New York Red Bulls on July 28.

Afful received a pass from Milton Valenzuela and quickly played a through ball to Mullins, who scored shortly thereafter.

The assist was Afful’s fourth of the season, marking a new MLS single-season career-high for the Ghanaian, whose previous MLS single-season career-high was three helpers (2016).

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In 2018, Afful has made 22 regular-season appearances (all starts), scoring one goal and providing four assists. Since joining the Black & Gold, Afful has made 85 regular-season appearances (82 starts), while scoring four goals and providing 10 assists.

Jeffrey Schlupp scores as Crystal Palace beat Fulham

The Eagles went into the match with the hope of having a better start to the campaign unlike they had in the 2017/18 season – where they had to wait for their fifth game before picking their first point in the campaign.

After a cagey opening period at the Craven Cottage, Jeffrey Schlupp opened the floodgate with four minutes to the end of the first half with a cracking strike.

Fulham came back strongly from recess with the aim of pulling level were thwarted by the sturdy defence of the visitors.

 

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Roy Hodgson’s men wrapped up the win on the 80th minute through Ivorian international Wilfred Zaha who outwitted goalkeeper Fabricio before shooting into an empty net. Schlupp played full throttle of the match for the London-based side.

Benzema, Bale give Real victory ahead of Super Cup clash

Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale were on target as European champions Real Madrid defeated AC Milan 3-1 in a friendly on Saturday just four days from their UEFA Super Cup clash with city rivals Atletico.

French striker Benzema opened the scoring at the Bernabeu with a second-minute header before former Real star Gonzalo Higuain, signed from Juventus in the summer, pulled Milan level just two minutes later.

Bale restored Real’s lead with a powerful drive in first-half stoppage time before Borja Mayoral tucked away the third in injury time at the end of the match.

Atletico Madrid warmed up for the Super Cup in Tallinn in Estonia with a 1-0 loss to Inter Milan at their Metropolitano stadium home.

In a game played as part of the pre-season International Champions Cup, the Italians won thanks to a splendid 32nd-minute volley from Argentina’s Lautaro Martinez.

Atletico’s Angel Correa had a goal ruled out by the VAR in the 43rd minute.

Even the second-half introduction of French World Cup winners Antoine Griezmann and Lucas Hernandez was unable to turn the tide for the Spaniards.

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Football

Vieira bemoans bad luck after defeat in first Nice game

Patrick Vieira said that his Nice side “ran out of luck” as he tasted defeat in his first league match as a coach in Europe with a 1-0 loss at home to newly-promoted Reims on Saturday.

The former Arsenal and France midfielder was brought in to replace Lucien Favre after his departure for Borussia Dortmund, but his reign got off to a miserable start.

Moussa Doumbia scored the only goal of the game in just the second minute of his Ligue 1 debut after joining Reims from Russian side Rostov.

The Malian midfielder cut inside two defenders before beating Nice goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale at his near post with a low shot from long range.

Nice dominated the rest of the match — enjoying 71 percent of possession — but only one of their 19 shots on goal was on target as they missed the injured Mario Balotelli.

“The goal made things much more difficult. A goal at the start like that is disappointing,” said Vieira.

“I was surprised. We ran out of luck. We created opportunities, especially in the second half.”

Visiting ‘keeper Edouard Mendy was equal to a low effort from Allan Saint-Maximin, but Nice created little else as Reims clung on to mark their return to the top flight after winning the Ligue 2 title with an unlikely win.

Italy striker Balotelli scored 26 goals in 38 games for Nice last season, but Vieira refused to confirm that the 27-year-old’s future still lies at the Allianz Riviera.

“Balotelli? It’s useless to talk about him because he’s not here,” said the Frenchman. “I want to focus on the players who are here and want to be here.”

Vieira, who had been briefly linked with the manager’s job at Arsenal during the close-season, will take his new team to Caen next Saturday, as the 42-year-old looks for his first win since leaving New York City.

Falcao helps Monaco to winning start

Falcao starred as a substitute as Monaco saw off Nantes play Falcao starred as a substitute as Monaco saw off Nantes

(AFP)

Radamel Falcao came off the bench to score and set up another goal as Monaco brushed aside Nantes 3-1 to get their Ligue 1 campaign off to a strong start.

With Falcao left out of the starting XI following his World Cup exertions with Colombia and big summer signing Aleksandr Golovin out injured, Monaco struggled for long periods.

But the game changed when Falcao was introduced in the 66th minute, and Rony Lopes continued his excellent form from last season by stooping to nod in the opening goal just three minutes later.

Falcao set Stevan Jovetic free with 10 minutes to go, and the Montenegrin coolly slotted home.

Samuel Grandsir, who also came on with Falcao to make his Ligue 1 debut for the club, crossed low for the Colombian to tap into an empty net in the 83rd minute, as Monaco cruised to victory despite Emiliano Sala’s injury-time consolation.

“We still have a lot to improve, but this victory is good to start the season well,” Portuguese youngster Lopes told Canal+.

“Last week (4-0 Champions Trophy loss to Paris Saint-Germain) was difficult, but here, first game of the championship, a win, we’re happy.”

Elsewhere, Nimes scored three goals in the last 14 minutes to grab a thrilling 4-3 victory at Angers in their first top-flight match since 1993.

Whabi Khazri scored on his debut as Saint-Etienne beat Dijon 2-1, while Lille came from behind to win 3-1 against Rennes and Montpellier lost at home to Dijon.

Reigning champions PSG get their title defence underway on Sunday when they host Caen.

Marseille opened the season in style on Friday night as Dimitri Payet scored twice in a 4-0 thrashing of Toulouse.

Don’t forget we’re the best, Guardiola tells City stars

Pep Guardiola insists his Manchester City players should remember their all-conquering form of last season when their title defence kicks off with a testing visit to Arsenal on Sunday.

The City manager has rejected the notion that his stars, who won the league title by a record 19 points three months ago, should forget about that glorious campaign and focus only on the months ahead.

Instead, he has told his players to use their form of last year — in which they also set records for most points, wins and goals in the Premier League era — to launch another championship charge.

“People say now we have to forget what we did last season. No way,” said Guardiola.

“I don’t want to forget what we have done last season. I know exactly what we did to achieve that, and that is where we start from. That’s the basic principle.

“Now, when I say something to them, they know exactly what we have to do.”

City kick off the league campaign with one ‘title’ already in their trophy cabinet, after last weekend’s comfortable Community Shield victory over Chelsea.

Although the competition hardly carries the weight of other trophies, it was an emphatic statement from City that they are ready to continue where they left off last season.

“That’s the dream,” Guardiola said. “A win helps to win more. You don’t choose titles and it (Community Shield) was a final and we spoke about that.

“They know we work a lot and I have spoken many times with them. I work a lot and I am good on that.

“I have said many times I am not a special guy but I am so good at working, working, working a lot and they have to work too.

“It is impossible to have the season all the time that is perfect.

“We will have bad moments and we will have to work to overcome them because in the end the players react to what the club is, what the manager and the staff are.”

‘Do our job’

Despite last season’s stunning achievements, Guardiola was his usual guarded self when talking about City’s prospects for the year ahead, believing as many as five other teams could prevent him from becoming the first manager in a decade to retain the title.

“We can do our job, yes, but maybe Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea can do their job better and win,” he said.

“Forget how much Liverpool have spent because they may have spent a lot, but last season they were a good team as well.

“Maybe Tottenham could not spend because of the stadium, but there is Chelsea with Jorginho, Kovacic and Kante in the middle, and Hazard, Willian, Pedro and Morata up front so you cannot say they are not contenders to win.

“Or Manchester United. People ask how will they do, but I know a little bit about the manager and in that situation how good they handle that. Arsenal are other contenders too. That’s why it is nice.

“But if we do our job, we will be there. We were the best last season, definitely, there is no doubt about it.

“We can be excellent, but others can be too – there can be six contenders.”