Belgium fight back from two down to beat Japan 3-2 in added time

Belgium became the first side to recover from a two-goal deficit to win a World Cup knockout match since Germany beat England 3-2 after extra time in Mexico in 1970.

Belgium fought back from two goals down to beat Japan 3-2 with an added-time goal from substitute Nacer Chadli on Monday to set up a World Cup quarter-final with Brazil.



The first side to recover from a two-goal deficit to win a World Cup knockout match since Germany beat England 3-2 after extra time in Mexico in 1970, Belgium were run ragged by a Japan side solid in defence and willing to probe deep.



As Belgium, 58 places above Japan at third in the FIFA world rankings, came out for the second half and soon found themselves trailing to strikes from Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui.



But defender Jan Vertonghen made up for the error that cost the first Japanese goal, tucking away a looping header in the 69th minute and the towering Marouane Fellaini pulled Belgium level in the 74th, less than 10 minutes after coach Roberto Martinez threw him on in place of the frustrated Dries Mertens.



With Japan pressing for a winner, Belgium broke free in injury time and striker Romelu Lukaku dummied for the ball to run free to Chadli who slammed home the last-gasp winner.



REUTERS



Ivorian legend Didier Drogba aims for presidency of football federation

Incumbent president Augustin Sidy Diallo, will be another candidate to beat. He has been in the role since 2011. The final list of candidates should be known in the coming weeks according to reports.

Former Ivorian international Didier Drogba is running for president of the Ivorian Football Federation, FIF; according to local media reports.

The former Chelsea man is reported to have filed his application for elections slated to be held later this year.

The 41-year-old will face competition from among others, a former playing colleague and turned politician Bonaventure Kalou, who was in October 2018 elected mayor of the municipality of Vavoua.

Incumbent president Augustin Sidy Diallo, will be another candidate to beat. He has been in the role since 2011. The final list of candidates should be known in the coming weeks according to reports.

Recently retired Drogba is on record to have voiced ambitions of heading the football federation in the West African country.

“It’s something that interests me: I want to get more involved. I think more and more about it. I know Ivorian football, I have played in selection for years and I invested in Ivorian football lately …

“I have not made my decision yet, but, if all conditions are met, why not?” he said in an interview on French broadcaster, RFI.

Nigeria football body backs Samson Siasia after FIFA life ban

The 51-year-old Siasia played 51 times as a striker for the Nigerian national team and later coached various national youth sides before a spell as senior coach in 2016.

The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has finally reacted to last week’s life ban imposed on former player and manager, Samson Siasia by a committee of football world governing body, FIFA.

The NFF in an August 19 statement said its lawyers were reviewing the decision by the FIFA Ethics Committee. The Committee last Friday announced that it had placed a life ban from all football-related activities on Siasia.

FIFA said in a statement on Friday that the adjudicatory chamber of their independent Ethics Committee found that Siasia was “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”

The NFF’s Acting President, Seyi Akinwunmi, said on Monday that the Federation had already reached out to the former U20, U23 and Super Eagles head coach and is aware that he is receiving appropriate legal advice.

“The NFF was shocked to learn of the investigation and subsequent decision by the FIFA Ethics Committee (Adjudicatory Chamber) placing a life ban on Mr. Samson Siasia.

“But we have however now received documents, including one known as the Motivated Decision, and we have handed them to our lawyers to study and provide legal advice to the Federation.

“It is a massive sanction on one of our legends. Siasia is a fooball legend but most importantly he is a Nigerian. We must therefore be interested in the matter and be properly advised.”

The 51-year-old Siasia played 51 times as a striker for the Nigerian national team and later coached various national youth sides before a spell as senior coach in 2016.

Akinwunmi added: “Siasia gave his all for Nigeria, playing for the U20 team right from his secondary school days and then for the senior team for several years, and also coaching the U20 and U23 teams and the Super Eagles.

“While we respect the FIFA processes and appreciate that an investigation was conducted prior to the decision, the least we as a Federation can do is empathise with him at this time, make ourselves available to him and hope that in some way he is able to clear his name as he has promised to do.”

The case is the latest to emerge from FIFA’s long-running investigation into the activities of Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal, who FIFA has called a “known match fixer” and who has admitted such activity in several interviews.

FIFA said that he was banned for life “from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.” Siasia was also been fined CHF 50,000 ($51,051.66). ($1 = 0.9794 Swiss francs)

South Africa beat Argentina in friendly at Pretoria

South Africa have an embarrassment of riches on the right wing with Nkosi and Cheslin Kolbe, who was rested for this match, bidding to start against New Zealand in Japan on September 21 in their World

Sibusiso Nkosi scored two brilliant tries as South Africa beat Argentina 24-18 on Saturday in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match in Pretoria.

The winger struck in each half for the Springboks, who found the going much tougher than last weekend when they hammered the Pumas by 33 points in Salta to win the Rugby Championship.

South Africa have an embarrassment of riches on the right wing with Nkosi and Cheslin Kolbe, who was rested for this match, bidding to start against New Zealand in Japan on September 21 in their World Cup opener.

All the other South African points at Loftus Versfeld came from fly-half Elton Jantjies, who kicked a conversion and four penalties.

Forwards Guido Petti and skipper Pablo Matera each scored a try for Argentina. Joaquin Diaz Bonilla kicked a conversion and a penalty and Benjamin Urdapilleta a penalty.

South Africa skipper and flanker Siya Kolisi showed no ill effects from a knee injury sustained last May before coming off after 53 minutes of his first international appearance this season.

Coach Rassie Erasmus wanted Kolisi to concentrate on his personal performance so he did not restore the captaincy. Instead veteran hooker Schalk Brits became, at 38 the second oldest Springbok to lead the team.

Although Argentina suffered a ninth consecutive loss, there was encouragement for coach Mario Ledesma from a much improved scrummaging performance, that won several penalties.

The Pumas thought they had taken the lead with three minutes left when debutant Lucas Mensa touched down, but the try was disallowed for obstruction by fellow centre Jeronimo de la Fuente.

South Africa started with an entirely different team from the one that crushed Argentina 46-13 last weekend in Salta to win the Rugby Championship for the first time. Argentina made 10 changes after being humiliated at home.

Springboks flanker Marcell Coetzee was off on 17 minutes and could not return after failing a head injury assessment test.

South Africa dominated territory and possession, but had to wait 20 minutes before being rewarded when Jantjies kicked a 22-metre penalty from in front of the posts.

Argentina had their first scoring chance seven minutes later. Diaz Bonilla succeeded with a more difficult penalty kick than that of Jantjies.

A stop-start half was crying out for a try. It finally arrived on 32 minutes when slick handling allowed Nkosi to step inside one opponent before holding off two others to score.

Jantjies struck a post with his conversion attempt leaving South Africa with an 8-3 advantage that did not adequately reflect their superiority.

That lead evaporated in additional time at the end of the half when Petti intercepted a pass from scrum-half Cobus Reinach and, showing amazing pace for a lock, scored between the posts.

Bonilla converted and the Pumas led 10-8 at the break despite being on the back foot for much of the opening 40 minutes.

The highlight of the second half was the second Nkosi try on 48 minutes, which gave the Springboks a lead they never surrendered.

Seemingly hemmed in, he beat three Pumas and then dived over Sebastian Cancelliere to raise his Test try tally to seven since debuting last season.

FIFA bans former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia for life following a match fixing probe

The case is the latest to emerge from FIFA’s long-running investigation into the activities of Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal, who FIFA has called a « known match fixer » and who has admitted such activ

Former Nigeria national team coach Samson Siasia has been banned from the game for life following a match-fixing probe by world governing body FIFA.

FIFA said in a statement on Friday (August 16) that the adjudicatory chamber of their independent Ethics Committee found that Siasia was “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”

The 51-year-old Siasia played 51 times as a striker for the Nigerian national team and later coached various national youth sides before a spell as senior coach in 2016.

The case is the latest to emerge from FIFA’s long-running investigation into the activities of Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal, who FIFA has called a “known match fixer” and who has admitted such activity in several interviews.

FIFA said that he was banned for life “from all football-related activities that is administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.”

Siasia has also been fined $51,000.

Ethiopia U-15 make history with CECAFA tourney in Eritrea

Whiles it will be the first major tournament Eritrea will be hosting, there is history being made by the Ethiopian lads in town for the competition.

Eritrea is hosting ten other countries for the Council for East and Central African Football Associations, CECAFA, under 15 championships.

The tournament kicked off today, August 16 and is expected to end in early September. Whiles it will be the first major tournament Eritrea will be hosting, there is history being made by the Ethiopian lads in town for the competition.

They will be the first Ethiopian team to play in Asmara in over two decades. They get the feat after a friendly match planned for Asmara between the two senior sides failed to hold last year.

There are three groups from the draw that was held in Asmara earlier this month.Most of the teams are neighbours of Eritrea along with the East African sides like Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.

According to CECAFA General Secretary, Nicholas Musonye, the aim of the tournament is to develop talents at the grassroot level which is the basic stage in the development of a player.

The result of draw is as follows:

Group A – Eritrea, Kenya, Burundi, Somalia

Group B – Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan

Group C – Tanzania, Sudan, Djibouti 0