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Nigeria’s D’Tigress Clinch Quarter Finals

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Nigeria’s D’Tigress Clinch Quarter Finals

It was a tense, pulsating, yet thrilling end to the match at Santa Cruz de Tenerife.  D’Tigress clinched a quarter final berth with the slimmest of margins in the quarterfinal qualifying fixture against Greece. Despite Greece leading into the final 20 seconds of the game, Nigeria battled to the dramatic finish.

Three seconds to the end of the game, Elo Edema Edeferioka won an offensive rebound and drew a foul from Maria Fasoula. She comfortably scored the free-throws that followed and Nigeria got into the lead which they held on as the ‘long’ three seconds counted down.

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Greece had possession in the final three seconds but frittered it away with a five seconds violation. In the final action of the game, Ezinne Kalu drew a foul with two seconds left of the game but she missed both free-throws and failed to extend the lead. It mattered very little as the buzzer blasted to signal the historic feat by the ladies. They became the first African team to reach the quarterfinal of the FIBA Women’s World Cup.

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At the start of the fourth quarter, D’Tigress led with 48-37 but the Greeks scored 19 points to ensure a nervy end to the game.

The first quarter ended a 15-15 stalemate before Otis Hughley’s team won both the second and third quarters. Then, there was the fourth quarter with a manic denouement.

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Evelyn Akhator scored her third double-double of the tournament with 14 points and 13 rebounds while Ezinne Kalu had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.

Aisha Mohammed, who scored 12 points in the win over Argentina, missed the game due to an injury but her replacement Atonye Nyigifa impressed with her 10 points and 5 rebounds.

Nigeria will face the United States of America in the quarterfinal on Friday.

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Sports News

NFF, Rohr Set Aside New Contract Talk 

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The general secretary of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Dr Sanusi Mohammed has revealed that contract talks between the federation and Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has been put on hold to enable the two parties focus on the upcoming 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers in March.

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Sanusi said the qualifiers were so important that the NFF would not allow the contract issue to distract the football house from its ultimate task of qualifying for both tournaments.

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Tennis Player Dalila Jakupovic Collapses During Australian Open Qualifying Due To ‘Poor Air From Bushfires’

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Tennis Player Dalila Jakupovic Collapses During Australian Open Qualifying Due To ‘Poor Air From Bushfires’

Slovenia tennis player, Dalila Jakupovic, had to drop out of Australian Open qualifying in Melbourne after collapsing with a coughing fit caused by bushfire smoke.

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Jakupovic was unable to complete one of her serves despite leading in her match against Switzerland’s Stefanie Vogele.

Jakupovic said she was given a breathing apparatus by a physio in the first set, but began to feel worse at the end of the second because a smoke haze from bushfires that hangs over the tennis arena.

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Barcelona Fires Coach Valverde, Hires Setien

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Barcelona Fires Coach Valverde, Hires Setien

The Spanish champions may be top of La Liga, but it was their results in the Champions League that ultimately cost coach Ernesto Valverde his job. The club has appointed Quique Setien as his replacement.

Barcelona has on Monday fired coach Ernesto Valverde midway through the season, replacing him with former Real Betis head coach Quique Setien, days after been eliminated from the Spanish Super Cup semifinals.

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Setien is under contract with Barcelona until the end of the 2021-22 season.

55-year-old Valverde won two La Liga titles and a Copa del Rey.

Spanish champions said in a statement late Monday. “Setien is one of the most experienced coaches in Spanish football. Throughout his career he has been a proponent of possession based, attacking football that has been attractive to the fans.”

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Under Valverde, Barcelona has not been able to show consistency in the Champions League due to defense woes, and those problems were again evident on Thursday when the team conceded two late goals to lose to Atletico Madrid, 3-2 in Saudi Arabia.

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