Congo stun African champions Nigeria

first_imgThe Congolese Red Devils were not even supposed to be in south-eastern city Calabar having lost a preliminary tie against Rwanda.But the Rwandans were kicked out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player and Congo got a second chance.Celtic defender Efe Ambrose nodded Nigeria into an early lead at UJ Esuene Stadium only for Prince Oniangue to level within three minutes.Goals either side of half-time from Thievy Bifouma — the second from a powerfully struck penalty — gave Congo a two-goal lead before Gbolahan Salami snatched a late consolation.Defeat added to the problems haunting Nigerian football.FIFA will ban the country if controversially-elected national football federation head Chris Giwa does not step down by early Monday.A suspension would prevent Nigeria playing South Africa in Cape Town next Wednesday and lead to disqualification from the Cup of Nations.Coach Stephen Keshi did not have his contract renewed after a last-16 exit from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and guided the Eagles against Congo as a caretaker.Ghana were another World Cup team who failed to take advantage of playing at home as Uganda forced a 1-1 draw at Baba Yaro Stadium in Kumasi.Tony Mawejje put the Ugandan Cranes ahead on the stroke of half-time in Group E and Andre Ayew levelled from a 50th-minute spot-kick.– Life without Eto’o –Cameroon began life without Samuel Eto’o with a comfortable 2-0 Group D victory in the Democratic Republic of Congo.Clinton N’Jie scored in first-half stoppage time and another France-based player, Vincent Aboubakar, added the second nine minutes from time.The Indomitable Lions always looked likely winners against the surprisingly poor Congolese Lions at a subdued Stade Mazembe in southern mining city Lubumbashi.Long-time Cameroon captain, striker and talisman Eto’o, 33, retired from international football last month after bagging 56 goals in an 18-year international career.Midfielder Alex Song was also absent as he is serving a three-match ban for a red card during a disastrous Cameroon World Cup campaign in Brazil.They lost all three group games and an incident in which Benoit Assou-Ekotto headbutted team-mate Benjamin Moukandjo during the 4-0 defeat to Croatia shamed African football.Ivory Coast, whose participation had been in doubt as the government initially refused to allow the team from Ebola-hit Sierra Leone to play in Abidjan, won 2-1 after trailing at half-time.Captain Kei Kamara put the visitors ahead in the other Group D match only for mid-second-half goals from Seydou Doumbia and Gervinho to swing the game in favour of the hosts.Algeria fielded eight of the team beaten after extra time by eventual champions Germany in the second round of the World Cup when winning 2-1 in Ethiopia.El Arabi Soudani scored on 35 minutes with a deflected shot and Yacine Brahimi doubled the lead six minutes from time at the national stadium in Addis Ababa.Ethiopia, who spent three weeks in Brazil preparing for the Group B clash, got a stoppage-time consolation goal through a Said Saladin penalty.Shock 2012 African champions Zambia started disappointingly in Group F as they were held 0-0 by Mozambique at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000JOHANNESBURG, September 7- Defending champions Nigeria suffered a stunning 3-2 home loss to Congo Brazzaville Saturday on matchday 1 of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying competition.It was the first defeat in 47 home matches for the Super Eagles since qualifying started 48 years ago and the first time they conceded three goals at home in an eliminator.last_img read more

U.S. ski team feeling weight of gold drought

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card The team was shut out at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. The American women had no medals at all, and Bode Miller won the men’s only medals with silvers in the giant slalom and combined. The last U.S. man to win Olympic gold in Alpine skiing was Tommy Moe in the 1994 downhill at Lillehammer, Norway. Street retired after the 2002 Olympics, where she finished 16th in the downhill. She’d like to see this American drought end at next month’s Turin Games. “I think definitely this is one of the strongest teams I’ve ever seen,” she said. “There are medal opportunities in every discipline, for sure. The women’s giant slalom is probably the weakest, but other than that it’s looking good. In some we’re looking at two-three opportunities per discipline. It’s pretty impressive.” One of Street’s favorites is Daron Rahlves, the winner of three World Cup downhill races this season. He matched her U.S. record of nine career victories in the discipline with his triumph last weekend on the classic Lauberhorn course in Wengen. “I have such high hopes for him. I want him to win an Olympic medal so badly,” Street said. “I love him. He’s such a good dude. He’s an all-around good athlete, nice guy, respectful and loyal yet real and cool. “Bode is hard to predict. I’m looking forward to the Bode Show like everyone else.” Among the women, Street looks to friend and protege Lindsey Kildow, the winner of two downhills this season. Kildow placed fourth three times at the worlds last winter in Bormio, Italy, sobbing when she was beaten out for a podium spot in the downhill. “Lindsey has a good in opportunity to medal, and with her world championship experience, she will be OK,” Street said. Street also likes what she sees in Julia Mancuso. “Miss Cool, Julia Mancuso, is just cool enough to come in and ride it,” she said. “She’s good over the flats, she’s got a great touch for snow, she’s experienced enough Olympics and world championships to stay cool.” Street will be working in Turin for NBC’s “Today,” leaving 16-month old son Treyjan at home during the games. She also will be videotaping and blogging. “I only hope I get to watch the women’s downhill,” Street said. “I think I’ll still be able to grasp the sensation even if I’m only living it vicariously.” Street is now 34 and would love another crack at gold, but a few things would have to be worked out. “If I were young and had a young body and had healthy knees and my back didn’t hurt,” she said. “Heartwise, I could be right in there.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ST. MORITZ, Switzerland – Picabo Street remembers the surprising weight, how heavy it felt to have the super-G gold medal slipped around her neck by French ski great Jean-Claude Killy at the Nagano Olympics almost eight years ago. The medal – black onyx etched with inlaid gold and hanging from a bulky blue and gold ribbon – is usually out of sight now, juggled from safe to safety deposit box between the occasional public appearance. center_img “I have my gold forever, and no one can ever take it away from me,” Street said. These days, the American ski team feels a different sort of weight: None of its Alpine skiers has won a gold medal since Street in 1998. last_img read more