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Nigeria beat South Africa, qualify for FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup



The Nigeria U-20 team, the Falconets, have qualified for the 2018 FIFA Women’s U20 World Cup, after they demolished their South African counterparts 6-0 on Saturday at the Sam Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, Edo State.

The Falconets secured their berth at the World Cup on a 8-0 aggregate score line, having won the first leg 2-0 a fortnight ago.

Gift Monday opened scoring for the Falconets after seven minutes with an assist from the outstanding Rashedaat Ajibade.

Ajibade turned scorer in the 21st minute, when she rounded up the South Africa goalkeeper before she found the back of the net.

Five minutes later Anam Imo made it 3-0 off a rebound, before Ajibade got her brace in the 32nd minute.

Gift Monday then got her own brace on 39 minutes same as Anam Imo also completed her brace in the 73rd minute.

The only sour point for Nigeria in Saturday’s outing was the dismissal of goal star Gift Monday three minutes from time after a second booking for a poor tackle.

The 2018 FIFA U20 World Cup will be played in France in August. And it will be their ninth straight U20 World Cup appearance for the Falconets.

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Theresa May backs joint UK-Ireland bid for 2030 World Cup



Theresa May says the British government is in “full support” of the joint UK and Ireland to host the 2030 World Cup.

The UK Prime Minister said the football ­associations of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland are working on a proposal for FIFA.

May made this known while speaking on the eve of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.

“Following the excitement of this summer’s World Cup, the English FA are working together with the FAs of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland to explore whether there could be a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup,” she said.

“The decision on whether to bid is, of course, for the football associations to make.

“But if they decide to go forward, they can count on this government’s full support.”

The last time a major football tournament was held in the UK was Euro 1996.

The English FA had applied to host the 2018 World Cup but lost to Russia.

Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay are also planning a joint bid for 2030.

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Serena Williams to play sister Venus in comeback tournament



Serena Williams continued her tennis comeback with a 7-6(5) 7-5 win over Kiki Bertens at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday, setting up a third-round encounter with her sister Venus.

Serena, who is returning to the sport after taking more than a year away to have a baby, was ragged at times but used her power to wear down the Dutch 29th seed in Indian Wells, California.

“I’m getting there. I have such a long way to go,” the 23-times grand slam champion told reporters.

“It definitely felt better than the first round, but I’m still a little rusty.

“I’m still making errors that I don’t normally make. I call this a trial run, of traveling with the baby and all of this is just so new to me.”

Venus moved into the third round by beating Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-3 6-4 in the preceding match.

Monday’s meeting will be the earliest between the Williams sisters since their first professional match in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open.

It will be the 29th between the pair, with Serena leading the head-to-head record 17-11.

That record includes a walkover victory for Serena at Indian Wells in 2001, when Venus pulled out minutes before their scheduled semi-final citing a knee injury.

Spectators vented their displeasure with the withdrawal during the final, booing Serena and jeering her sister and father Richard Williams when the pair arrived to watch the match. Richard Williams alleged he had heard racist taunts.

Serena boycotted the event until 2015.

“Obviously I wish it was anybody else in the draw, literally anybody, but that’s okay,” she said.

“I really abhor every time we play, but I do enjoy the battle when I’m out there. It’s just afterwards I don’t like it as much.”

Venus recovered from a break down in the second set against Cirstea, winning five consecutive games to close it out.

“It takes me a few games, a few matches before hopefully you get it where you want it to be,” said the number eight seed after her first match in a month.

“(I was) just trying to work the point, do what it takes to win the point. I haven’t played in a long time.”

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Messi announces birth of third son ‘Ciro’



Lionel Messi has announced the arrival of his third son, Ciro . The striker’s wife gave birth on Saturday.

Citing “personal reasons,” the Barcelona ace had pulled out of the squad for the game against Malaga on Saturday.

He was replaced by defender Yerry Mina in the travelling party.

The 30-year-old later took to Instagram to announce that Ciro had been born, with the message: “Welcome Ciro! Thank God everything went perfect. Mum and he are very well. We are super happy.”
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leomessi Bienvenido Ciro !!! Gracias a Dios salió todo perfecto . La mamá y el están muy bien . Estamos súper felices !!!!!❤️❤️
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Messi is also a father to sons Thiago, 5, and Mateo, 2. The Argentina national team captain has been with his wife Antonella since he was 20.

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