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Lungu goal gives Zambia victory in Uganda

first_imgThe Zambia side that beat Uganda Cranes (below). PHOTO FUFA MEDIAJohannesburg, South Africa | AFP | Zambia edged hosts Uganda 1-0 on Tuesday in a warm-up match for both countries ahead of 2018 World Cup qualifiers this weekend.Chisamba Lungu, a 25-year-old attacking midfielder who plays in the Russian Premier League, scored the winner on 25 minutes in Kampala.What seemed an ambitious long-range shot deflected off defender Isaac Isinde and beat goalkeeper Robert Odongkara.Recalled striker Geoffrey Massa wasted the best chance to equalise for Uganda during the second half.Victory was a morale boost for former African champions Zambia after a 1-0 friendly loss in Zimbabwe last Saturday. Coaches Milutin Sredojevic of Uganda and Wedson Nyirenda of Zambia made numerous second-half substitutions as they experimented with players and tactics.Those who came off the bench included Zambia’s Rainford Kalaba, whose brace helped Democratic Republic of Congo club TP Mazembe win the CAF Confederation Cup two days ago.On Saturday, Uganda host Congo Brazzaville and Zambia are away to Cameroon in World Cup qualifiers.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Restless Pochettino holds key to Spurs progress

first_imgWolverhampton, United Kingdom | AFP | Dele Alli’s reaction to signing a new six-year deal with Tottenham this week underlined why Mauricio Pochettino is so valuable to the north London club amid claims the Argentine coach is growing restless.Victory at Wolves on Saturday would extend Spurs’ best start to a Premier League campaign since Pochettino took charge ahead of the 2014-15 season.That, though, tells only part of the story.Performances have too often fallen short of standards set in recent seasons, throwing focus on the failure to make any signings during the last transfer window.The after-effects of a gruelling World Cup campaign have taken a toll on a number of Pochettino’s squad, while Tottenham’s Champions League campaign already hangs in the balance.Add to that the continuing delays to Tottenham’s move back into a rebuilt White Hart Lane, and there is a growing sense the club is treading water right now.Speaking ahead of Monday’s home defeat to Manchester City, Pochettino admitted to feeling frustrated, conceding this was the worst he has felt since taking charge of the club.Pochettino acknowledged his side has made some progress, but insisted off-field distractions had diverted their focus away from winning trophies.It doesn’t help, then, that Real Madrid, long term admirers of the Argentinian, are now looking for a replacement for the sacked Julen Lopetegui.Pochettino’s future appeared secure when he signed a new five-year contract at the end of last season. But Tottenham would not be the first club to discover they have a fight on their hands if the La Liga giants decide to step up their interest in the manager.The central importance of Pochettino to Tottenham’s long-term plans, though, was reinforced by Alli’s glowing endorsement.The England midfielder became the latest member of Pochettino’s squad to sign a long-term deal this week and made it clear the Argentine was a major factor in his decision to put pen to paper.– In demand –“He is a massive part of wanting to be at this club,” said Alli after Wednesday’s win at West Ham in the League Cup.“The fans are amazing, the chairman, everyone — the whole club’s amazing.“But as players you work with the gaffer, you want to have a good relationship with the manager, and we all feel like we’ve got that here.“We all love the way we work, the style of play. We all want to be a part of it.“He’s done a lot for me so far and hopefully he can keep helping me to improve.”Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2last_img read more

Rooney reckons he picked ‘right time’ to leave Man Utd

first_imgLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Wayne Rooney believes he left Manchester United at the right time, even though he wanted to finish his career at Old Trafford.The 33-year-old, who is set to make his final England appearance against the United States in a friendly international at Wembley on Thursday, is now playing for North American club side DC United in Major League Soccer.But there is no denying his place in United’s history books, with Rooney the club’s leading goalscorer in a career that also saw him win five Premier League titles, the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and three League Cups with the Red Devils.In total, Rooney made 559 appearances for United from 2004-2017 after joining from boyhood club Everton.But he started a mere seven of the final 19 Premier League appearances of his United career, with Rooney no longer a first-choice player under manager Jose Mourinho.Rooney returned to Everton before leaving English club football completely when he joined DC United earlier this year.“Of course you miss it,” he told MUTV, United’s in-house television station, of his time at Old Trafford. “It was the highlight of my career, playing for Man United and I was there for so long. But it was the right time.“I wasn’t playing, first of all. I have always been a player who wants to play,” he added. “Obviously I spoke to the manager (Mourinho) and it didn’t look like I was going to play, so it was the right decision and the right time for me to go.“Obviously, you wish, the ideal situation was staying there and finishing your career there, but football changes. Different things happen and things happen for a reason.”Rooney was denied the kind of United farewell he is set to enjoy with England as his last appearance for the club was as a substitute against Dutch side Ajax in a Europa League victory,“It would have been nice to have done it at Old Trafford,” he said. “But I have been back there a few times and I will be back over the Christmas period, at a game to watch them.“I left with great memories. I had a new opportunity to go and play in the States. I had a great time at United, though, and again I am looking forward to going back and seeing a few of my team-mates, and a few friends from the staff who I have made along the way.“The fans have been brilliant to me and it will be nice to see a few familiar faces when I go to a game over Christmas,” Rooney added.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more