Mo Salah’s Penalty Seals Win for Liverpool over Spurs

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Liverpool needed two second-half goals to come from behind to beat Tottenham at Anfield and restore their six-point lead at the top of the table.

Harry Kane scored within 48 seconds of kick-off and keeper Paulo Gazzaniga pulled off a number of impressive saves to give Spurs a 1-0 lead at half-time.

Jordan Henderson equalised six minutes after the break before Mo Salah thumped the winner from the penalty spot.

The feat extended Liverpool’s unbeaten run at home extends to 45 league game.

In a repeat of June’s Champions League final, Liverpool came out victorious and have dropped just two points in the Premier League this season.

They were made to work for it – needing several big chances to score before Henderson eventually slotted his half-volley into the far corner early in the second half.

That came moments after Son Heung-min had smacked the crossbar for the second time in the match – his first effort was nodded in by Kane from seven yards out for the opener.

But Liverpool’s pressure eventually took its toll when Serge Aurier caught the back of Sadio Mane’s leg and gave away a penalty, which Salah smashed past a stationary Gazzaniga with 15 minutes left.

Liverpool finished the first half a goal down despite having had 10 shots on target and 76% of possession.

That was largely down to Gazzaniga’s excellent display for Spurs – the keeper making 12 saves.

His first big save came after 20 minutes when Salah’s half-volley was hit straight at him before the Egyptian struck another shot which he palmed away.

Gazzaniga got back to his feet to block the rebound from Roberto Firmino and then tipped Virgil van Dijk’s header over the crossbar – all in the first 30 minutes.

Trent Alexander-Arnold joined in on the action, again being denied by Gazzaniga, before Mane missed the biggest chance of the half – skewing a header wide from just a few yards.

But the Spurs keeper, filling in for the injured Hugo Lloris, could do nothing about Henderson’s equaliser or Salah’s penalty which flew past his outstretched left leg.

It’s a huge victory for Liverpool, having dropped their first points of the season at Old Trafford against rivals Manchester United last weekend.

They went into this game having not lost at home in the Premier League since April 2017 and with only one defeat in their last 48 Premier League matches.

Second-placed Manchester City had cut their lead at the top of the table to three points following their 3-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday.

The two teams go head-to-head next month at Anfield, when Liverpool will hope to make it 46 matches undefeated at home.

As for Spurs, they drop out of the top 10 with just three wins in their opening 10 games and sit 16 points behind the league leaders.

Federer Cruises to 10th Swiss Indoors Title in Basel

Roger Federer captured his 10th Swiss Indoors crown with an emphatic 6-2 6-2 victory over Alex de Minaur.

The 38-year-old Swiss maestro extended his winning run to 24 matches in the event and sealed his 103rd ATP title.

He broke twice to take the first set in 34 minutes against the world number 28, playing his only sixth ATP final.

Federer, competing in his 157th ATP final, duly sealed victory in one hour eight minutes against the Australian, 20, for his fourth title of the season.

De Minaur was also seeking his fourth title of the season and attempting to become the first Australian winner of the Swiss event, which was first played in 1970.

But he had no answer to the composed brilliance of Federer, who broke for the first time in the fourth game with a perfectly controlled overhead.

Federer then produced a majestic forehand, followed by an ace down the T-line, to move three games ahead in the second set and serenely completed his fifth Swiss triumph in the past six years.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner, who first reached the Swiss final in 2000, is now only six short of the ATP record for singles titles, held by Jimmy Connors.

In his first meeting with De Minaur, Federer converted four of 10 break points and did not drop serve in a superb performance, which included prevailing in a 39-stroke rally.

“I thought Alex played a great tournament as well, and I think we both can be very happy,” he said. “But what a moment for me to win my 10th here in my hometown of Basel. I made very few unforced errors and came up with the big shots and served well when I had to.”

In the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, Austrian top seed Dominic Thiem won his fifth tournament of 2019 when he fought back to defeat Argentine Diego Schwartzman 3-6 6-4 6-3.

The 26-year-old world number five won in two hours 25 minutes for his 16th ATP title.

 
Nigeria, Others for Maiden Western Africa Challenge
 
 
As the top table tennis playing nation in the region, Nigeria will be leading 10 other nations to the maiden ITTF Western Africa Challenge which holds on November 2 to 3 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

The tournament which serves as qualification for the 2020 Africa Top 16 Cup has 21 men and 18 women competing for the title at the 3500 capacity Salle Polyvalente Du Parc Des Sports De Treichville in Abidjan.

Besides Nigeria, other teams aiming for the top prize are Benin Republic, Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Niger Republic, Sierra Leone, Guinea and host – Cote d’Ivoire.

From the 15 countries that made up the region, 11 will be present at the two-day tournament sponsored by the world table tennis ruling body – ITTF.

According to the Tournament Director, Professor Germain Karou, all is set for the competition as all arrangement have been put in place to ensure a smooth tournament.

“We hope that this tournament will be a very successful one and that the Ivorian people and region will have opportunity to discover the best players from the region,” he said.

The Professor who is also the President of the Federation of Ivorien Table Tennis (FITT) said: “We are expecting 11 countries out of the 15 countries in the region, while about 39 players will be in Abidjan for this tournament.”

For the host country, he said: “Hosting the tournament means a lot to FITT and it is another great opportunity that help will to stimulate the development table tennis and win more people to the sport in our country. Hosting this competition is a great opportunity for the country to showcase its talents and raise the profile of the sport.”

For the Deputy Secretary General of FITT, Ali Kanate, the staging of the tournament would help to showcase the expertise of Cote d’Ivoire in handling international event.

Ali Kanate said: “We thank International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the African Federation (ATTF) and the President of the West African region for the confidence in us staging the tournament. We hope to use this tournament to show our ability in organizing an international event particularly being the maiden edition of the regional tournament. By hosting the first edition of the regional table tennis championship, Côte d’Ivoire is on the map of West Africa as a leading player. The stakes involved in the organization of this competition are numerous and that is why we have made every effort to make it a memorable one for the players.

“Apart from putting up good organisation, we want to show our ability as a top table tennis playing nation in the region and that is why we have sent our players on training tour of France in order to make it to the podium at the event,” he added.

For the President of the ITTF Africa (Western Region) Wahid Oshodi, the staging of the tournament would help to build close relationship among the participating teams.

“We are grateful to ITTF and ATTF for their support and we are hoping that we can use this tournament to bring the countries in the region together and forge ahead in growing the sport. We are expecting firework in Abidjan and I am confident that the host nation will put up a good show. I am hoping that more teams in the region will register and be part of the competition,” Oshodi said.

Edo 2020 NSF Committee Releases Sponsorship Proposals
The Marketing Committee for the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival slated to hold in Benin City in March has released its sponsorship prosposals which has been broken down into  five tiers, according to a document made public in Benin last week Friday.
 It itemised others as marketing activation, pouring  rights, image rights and branding as some of the benfits.
Besides, no fewer than 8,500 athletes are expected to participate in the 20th edition of the National Sport Festival  (NSF) tagged “Edo 2020”, an official said on Friday in Benin.
Mrs Uyi Malaka, secretary of the Marketing Sub-Committee of the festival’s Local Organising Committee (LOC), disclosed this at a joint meeting of the LOC’s Publicity and Communication and Marketing Sub-Committees.
She said the festival schedule to hold from March 22 to April 1 would see the athletes competing for 3,000 medals from 33 sports.
“Athletes from the 36 states and the FCT are expected to participate in the festival,” Mrs Malaka said.
She then called for a synergy between the Publicity and Communication Sub-Committee and the Marketing Committee.
“The Publicity and Communication Sub-Committee should use various platforms to sell the festival to the world,” Mrs Malaka said, promising that nothing would be left to chance in the bid to ensure the best-organised NSF.
Edochie Charges Nigerian Youths on Leadership
The President of Port Harcourt Polo Club Leo Edochie has charged Nigerian Youth to take their studies serious as leaders of tomorrow.
The President Port Harcourt Polo Club Leo Edochie said this while presenting the trophy of the maiden edition of Port Harcourt Polo Club  in collaboration with Solotone Ventures LTD Secondary Schools debate at the Port Harcourt Polo Club  saddle Launge.
He said as future leaders their academics should be the number one priority.
The president, PH polo club who was thrilled by the performance of the students, awarded a University Scholarship to the best student Emmanuel Friday, Student of Community Boys Secondary School Elelenwo, Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
Edochie also said the Port Harcourt Polo Club /Solotone Ventures LTD Secondary Schools debate will be an annual competition saying that the price money for the next edition will be in Dollars.
He added that the commitment of the club towards her  Cooperate social responsibility is top on their nine point agenda as the club intends to organise more programs through Polo and other areas  to give back to the society.
The vice president of port Harcourt Polo Club Engr Chukwudi Dimkpa said the performance of the students is an indication that there are quality brains in the public schools while also calling on the Government to do more for the schools.
For her part member Port Harcourt Polo Club co-operate social responsibility and Chairperson Media and Publicity of the Port Harcourt Polo Club in conjunction with Solotone Ventures Secondary Schools debate Main Organising Committee Alexander Fi said she is confident that some great leaders will come from the public schools.
Alex said the students gave a good account of theirselves as against the general perception that Government Schools are not good.
The Governor of the Rivers state Barr Nyesom Wike  representated by the Permanent Secretary Ministry  of Education Dagogo Hart lauded Port Harcourt Polo club for the initiative, promising that Government will reach out to the participating schools and ensure Government full involvement in subsequent editions.
Government Girls Secondary School Rumuokuta came first, Community Boys Secondary School Elelenwo finished second  while Government Secondary School Igbo-Etche got the third position..
There were also individual awards and consolation prizes to all the participating students .

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