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2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup: Argentina rally to hold South Africa



Argentina stormed home to claim a 2-2 draw with South Africa in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup at Forsyth Barr Stadium in New Zealand on Friday.

Banyana Banyana scored in either half through Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana, and looked comfortable before Argentina scored twice in five minutes.

Sophia Braun got the first with a superb strike, before a glancing header from Romina Nunez restored parity.

Both sides pushed for a late winner, but a point was fair value.

Linda Motlhalo’s goal was originally ruled offside, but VAR eventually overturned the decision to the delight of Dunedin Stadium.

Thembi Kgatlana was incredibly influential for Banyana Banyana, setting up the first and scoring the second.

But Argentina came roaring back, with Braun’s stunning strike from 25 metres out giving her side a chance.

Five minutes later, Nunez’s glancing header levelled the scores.

South Africa’s first Women’s World Cup point came at a cost, with captain Refiloe Jane stretchered off with an ankle injury.

The team will also be without Kholosa Biyana for their final Group G match after she received her second yellow card of the tournament.

Both teams live to fight another day, but will need results to go their way for them to progress to the last 16.

Desiree Ellis, South Africa coach rued her team’s missed goal scoring opportunities, admitting that their decision-making in the final third was poor.

“We need to show a little bit of extra effort and take our chances. It’s the little details. We had the chance to win this game and, again, we just gave it away.

“We created many opportunities. But [before the game] we spoke about decision-making and the importance of playing a pass to someone in a better position and, at times, we did not do that.

“When you create beautiful chances and don’t put them away, the result can end up like this,” she said.

Thembi Kgatlana, South Africa striker expressed disappointment at the result, adding that the team lost focus at crucial moments in the game.

“We had the game in our pocket but we gave away two easy goals. That’s something we’ll need to improve going into our next match.

“We need to keep 100 per cent focus, whether we are leading or not, and show a very good mentality until the referee blows the final whistle.

“Today, we made life difficult for ourselves,” she said.

Sophia Braun, Argentina defender expressed delight at the result and attributed their hard-fought draw to the team’s never-die-spirit.

“I’m very proud of how we came back. We never gave up. Obviously we didn’t start the way we wanted to but we showed a lot of heart and fight to claw our way back.

“This was a game we wanted to win but I’m proud of the team. We still have a lot to play for and I’m excited.

“We can’t wait for the next game against Sweden. That’s going to be a battle, they all are, but we’re ready for it,” she said.


16th INAC: Indian instructor educates Nigerians on benefits of Yoga



The Indian High Commission in Nigeria on Friday in Abuja urged Nigerians to embrace Yoga as a means of exercise for their overall well-being..

Diptiranjan Mohanty, Teacher of Indian Culture, High Commission of India in Abuja, gave the advice during the 16th International Arts and Craft Expo (INAC).

Mohanty, who demonstrated the exercise , said that Yoga is an aspect of Indian culture known to reduce stress, anxiety as well as improve brain function.
He said that practicing Yoga also improves cardiovascular function, quality of sleep, bone health and reduces inflammation.

“Yoga is part of our culture, we want our Nigerian friends and people across the globe to practise it as a lifestyle.
“It improves body flexibility and balance.

“Yoga is known to harmonise the mind, body and soul, and it is a method to detoxify theo body and make a healthy mind and a happy soul,” he said.

Mohanty said that Nigerians who were interested in learning how to practice yoga could attend free classes for the execise at the Indian High Commission in Abuja.

According to him, this is held Monday to Friday, from 4.00p.m. to 7.00p.
He said that India was at the expo to showcase its arts and crafts like Saree fabric, Masala Chai (indian tea), locally prepared to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol.

In the course of the expo, delegates from Taraba, Kaduna, Borno, Katsina, Ogun and Rivers states presented colourful dance performances.

Ogun and Rivers as well as Cuba presented cuisines peculiar to their culture, which delegates from other nations savoured.

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UEFA to raise payments for clubs not in European competition



Clubs that fail to qualify for UEFA’s competitions are set to receive a greater share of revenue from the European governing body from next season.
The arrangement is under a new distribution model announced on Wednesday by UEFA.
UEFA and the European Club Association (ECA) signed a renewed working agreement until 2030 which will “bolster long-term stability and sustainable growth in European club football,” the governing body said in a statement.

The change will be effective from the start of the 2024-25 season, coinciding with a new format in UEFA’s Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League.

Under the new model for the 2024-2027 cycle, seven per cent of the revenue UEFA earns from the three competitions will be distributed to clubs not competing in them, up from four per cent.

The European Leagues Association, which represents professional soccer leagues in Europe, said the change would result in 308 million euros ($330.02 million) being shared among non-participating clubs, up from the current 175 million euros.

“Today’s announcement … will help all clubs across Europe to safeguard their competitiveness on and off the pitch while keeping investing in youth and talent development,” it said in a statement.

UEFA said further details of the new system would be unveiled at a later date.

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