‘England Versus Nigeria, More Than Just a Game’

first_imgINTERNATIONAL FRIENDLYBritish High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has insisted that the high-profile international friendly between the Super Eagles and England’s Three Lions was more than just a game as the European team was looking forward to the June 2 date with enthusiasm.“Let me assure you that England is taking this match very serious. It is more than just a game; it is a big preparatory game towards the FIFA World Cup”observed the high commissioner when Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) top officials paid his a courtesy visit in Abuja yesterday. He recalled the historical ties between both countries.“More than that, the historical ties between our two countries are there to be considered, so it will also serve to strengthen and enhance relations and good collaboration between our countries,” said Arkwright.Earlier, NFF President, Amaju Melvin Pinnick who was accompanied on the visit by 2nd Vice President Shehu Dikko informed Arkwright that the Nigerian High Commission in the United Kingdom was also involved in efforts to ensure the match is a huge success, coming less than two weeks before the opening match of the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.“We appreciate the excellent cordial relations between our two countries and that is one of the reasons this is more than just a match. It is coming up only two weeks before Nigeria’s first match at the FIFA World Cup, and 16 days before England’s first match in Russia.“Ours two countries have so much in common. We believe this match will go a long way in strengthening England-Nigeria relations in several areas,” stressed the NFF chief.Also present at the meeting was Louise Edwards, who is Second Secretary, Political of the British High Commission in Nigeria.The Super Eagles and the Three Lions will lock horns at the Wembley Stadium on Saturday, 2nd June, in what will be the Eagles’ penultimate friendly match before flying to the World Cup finals in Russia.Officially, both countries have clashed only twice previously at senior level: one competitive match and one friendly.The friendly was on 16th November 1994, when the Three Lions pipped the Eagles 1-0 at old Wembley Stadium thanks to a first half header by David Platt. The second time was a group phase tie at the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals in Korea/Japan, where both teams ended it 0-0 at the Nagai Stadium in Osaka.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Women’s soccer: Badgers surprise in NCAA, fall short in second round to Gators

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin Badgers women’s soccer team hoped to continue their impressive run in Gainesville, Florida as they took on the University of Florida Gators in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but they came up short in double overtime.The loss came a week after the Badgers advanced past the first round with a win over Marquette University. Their reward, facing the number one-seeded Gators. In a back and forth battle, the Badgers’ (9-5-8) season came to an end in a 3-2 double overtime loss.Women’s soccer: Wisconsin takes on No. 1 seed Florida in second round of NCAA TournamentSports can be cruel, and sometimes to a certain extent it almost appears as if the game taunts the players Read…The game would go into halftime scoreless as the Badgers managed to keep the high scoring Gators in check. Wisconsin’s goalkeeper, Caitlyn Clem, recorded eight saves — a career high for Clem. The match proved to be a defensive battle throughout, but by the time the second half started, it seemed like a different game.Florida would break the scoreless tie 53rd minute on a penalty kick goal by Meggie Dougherty Howard. Thirteen minutes later, the Badgers would earn a penalty kick of their own. Senior midfielder, Micaela Powers, confused Gator goalkeeper, Kaylan Marckese, who dove for the left goal post while Powers sent it for the right side, delivering the equalizer at one. The goal was Powers’ fifth of the season.For a brief moment in the second half, the Badgers had the advantage and the top-seeded Gators on the ropes. In the 77th minute, Wisconsin took a 2-1 lead on a goal from freshman forward sensation, Dani Rhodes. The goal served as Rhodes’ fourth of the year, delivered in from junior forward, Sydney McGinnis.Florida outshot Wisconsin 18-13 in the game, besting the Badgers in shots on goal 11-5 and winning the corner kick battle, 7-1. Despite all this, the Badgers were less than 14 minutes away from completing a remarkable upset and moving on to the third round.The excitement of an advantage would almost immediately be shattered as the Gators scored just over a minute later. On a corner kick, Florida managed to tie the game on an own goal by Wisconsin in the 78th minute. The game would go into overtime knotted up at two apiece.Both teams would go scoreless in the first overtime and forced the game into to a double overtime period, the last stage before penalty kicks. The game was decided in the 107th minute when Brooke Sharp of Florida beat Clem from five yards out to send the Gators to the Sweet Sixteen.With the loss, six seniors will say goodbye to the Cardinal and White, including star player Rose Lavelle, Powers, Meghan Ledin, Holly Heckendorf, Morgan Taylor and Kylie Schwarz. This season saw a number of successes. The appearance in the second round marked Wisconsin’s 10th time to accomplish such a feat. Head coach, Paula Wilkins, also completed a milestone of her own getting her 100th win with Wisconsin.Women’s soccer: Late-season collapse costs Badgers NCAA BidWith five teams receiving bids, the Big Ten conference will be well represented in the upcoming NCAA tournament for women’s Read…In what some would call a rebuilding year, the Badgers showed some positive signs that could convince the biggest skeptics that the Badgers have a bright future on the horizon. Wilkins and Wisconsin now approach spring play with a lot to hang their hat on after a remarkable postseason run this fall.last_img read more