SPORTS

GHANAIAN FANS HAILS IMPRESSIVE BLACK STARLETS AFTER TRASHING HOST NATION(GABON)

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Players during the game against Gabon

Scores of Ghanaian soccer fans on in Gabon hailed the flamboyant qualification of the Black Starlets to the U17 World Cup in India following their 5-0 thumping of host nation Gabon.

The Starlets, once again did not concede a goal, in a game played on Wednesday evening, netting five (5) past the host nation.

Their victory means the team has scored nine (9) goals in two matches, after beating Cameroon 4-0 on Sunday.

John Amoso Andzie, told the APA that it has been decades since Ghana annexed the U-17 World Cup in Ecuador under the guidance of late Coach Sam Ardy, and expressed the hope that the momentum will be maintained to ensure that Ghana won the cup eventually.

Kwame Opoku Ordatey, hailed coach Paa Kwesi Fabin, for the momentum and effort he put in place before the tournament.

Joycelin Akosua Buamaa, a female athlete, says the Starlets have put up five-star performance in the early stages and urged them on to go for glory as they have progressed to the knock-out stage.

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SPORTS

Why Christian Atsu’s sublime free-kick has given Rafa Benitez plenty to ponder.

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Newcastle United’s promotion may have settled the nerve of Magpies’ fans, but the reality is that the club remain in flux.

 

Rafa Benitez is due to meet Mike Ashley next week in order to discuss his own position as United boss, the club were drawn into HMRC’s investigation into historic transfer activity in midweek, while just about the whole squad are playing for their futures.

Throughout the entire Championship campaign, Newcastle supporters have been discussing – originally prematurely, but now pragmatically – which of the current crop of players are ‘Premier League-ready’.

The likes of Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey and Ciaran Clark have all shown they can perform at the highest level, but there are question marks over the vast majority of the squad.

One player who is playing for his very Newcastle future more than most is Christian Atsu.

The 25-year-old is at a stage in his career where he finally needs to plant some roots, and he has hinted in recent months that he would like to do so on Tyneside.

Atsu joined Chelsea in 2013 from Porto but has never made an appearance for his parent club, instead being sent on loan five times.

Successful spells at Vitesse Arnhem and Malaga were split either side of disappointing stints at Everton and AFC Bournemouth, before his summer move to St James’ Park.

During his spell at United, there have been glimpses of quality – interspersed with some frustrating and even largely-anonymous displays.

But, at the Cardiff City Stadium, we saw the Ghanaian produce a moment of quality which added some magic to a game which, up until that point, had been dire.

Atsu, having won a free-kick inside the D, stepped up and curled the ball over the wall with a left-footed shot which nestled into the top right-hand corner of the net.

The Ghanaian has had a mixed season, and has shown flashes, but this latest performance may have given Rafa Benitez something to ponder given that his season-long loan deal will soon be coming to an end.

Talk of a potential £6.5million permanent move from Chelsea has been mooted, and Newcastle do definitely have first option on the winger this summer.

A former Africa Cup of Nations Player of the Tournament, Atsu clearly has talent in abundance.

Yet he has made just 14 league starts, and come on 17 times as a substitute in the league this season, contributing five goals and three assists.

Capable of moments of brilliance like the free-kick he conjured up on Friday night, Atsu can also be frustratingly inconsistent and large portions of games can almost pass him by.

Benitez has a big decision to make regarding the winger’s future – about whether those positive glimpses outweigh the negatives.

Has Atsu done enough to convince Benitez he can finally make a statement in the Premier League? It seems only time will tell…

 

SPORTS

Atletico Madrid ace Thomas Partey scores first league goal in Las Palmas win as Kevin Prince Bo

The Ghana international midfielder replaced Jose Gimenez in the 67th minute and managed to find the back of the net after five minutes.
Partey started the move on the right and release Angel Correa who picked up the Black Stars ace inisde the box to finish with a low shot.Thomas Partey climbed off the bench to score his first goal of the season for Atletico Madrid in their 5-0 win over Las Palmas who had Kevin Prince Boateng sent off.​
His compatriot Prince Boateng was sent off on the 65th minute mark for a yellow card offence after elbowing an opponent in an aerial challenge.
He will miss their next league match at Sporting Gijon.

SPORTS

FC Barcelona in Ghana to explore potential partnerships

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A five-man delegation from Spanish football giants FC Barcelona is in Accra to explore potential sports- business and soccer partnerships.

The feasibility and fact finding team is led by a senior member of the powerful Barcelona board Paul Vilanova Villa Abadal and the director of the renowned FC Barcelona Escola programme Franc Carbo.

Upon their arrival in Accra on Sunday, the team wasted no time and immediately plunged to work.

A brief presentation on the state of Ghana football was made by Caf/Fifa General Coordinator Anthony Baffoe who is also the founder of the Pfag (Professional Footballers Association of Ghana)

The delegation also held discussions with a other sports and business stakeholders including the Navigator of Books & Boots Yaw Ampofo Ankrah who is also president of the Ghana Beach Soccer Association (GBSA). Incidentally, the headquarters of Beach Soccer Worldwide (BSWW) is in Barcelona.

The FC Barcelona delegation will meet the Sports Minister, Hon. Isaac Asiamah and the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) Kwesi Nyantakyi on Monday before departing on Tuesday.

The team from the Basque region of Spain arrived in Ghana after successfully launching the biggest soccer academy in West Africa in Lagos, Nigeria.

The newly instituted academy in Ghana’s neighbouring country Nigeria has already enrolled over 300 students.

Ghana is seen as the next ideal destination for Barcelona’s expanding vision of education and soccer which has been accepted globally as the template for successful football development.

Regarded as the model club side of excellence with expanding interests across all continents, FC Barcelona’s footprints are distinct, including soccer academies in Guatemala, Australia and India.

The Spaniards are expected to hold discussions with top soccer academies in Ghana including the Right to Dream academy in Akosombo and WAFA academy in Sogakokpe

The delegation has already met with representatives of Centa14 Sports and Entertainment Group led by Willem Alexander Coleman with a view of establishing an official fans base in Ghana and the founder of Organisation for African Development.

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