Author: David F.

Ivory Coast booked their place in the 2015 African Cup of Nations final following a 3-1 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo at the Estadio de Bata on Wednesday evening. . Goals from Yaya Toure, Gervinho and Serge Wilfried Kanon secured the Elephants’ place in the Afcon final for the third time in nine years. . Having netted 10 goals between them in two qualifying match-ups, goals were to be expected and that is exactly what the sides delivered in what was a thrilling semifinal encounter. . Both teams were guilty of starting slow at this year’s tournament, but…

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Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman is to undergo treatment of the left knee he was operated on in March, the Roma footballer said on Thursday. . “There’s a lot of speculation in the media about me and I would like to explain to all the fans what the real problem is,” Strootman tweeted. . “In the match v Fiorentina (Saturday) I got a knock on my left knee. It’s bruised and therefore I should rest my knee for a couple of weeks. . “This gives me the opportunity to remove some scar tissue which has bothered me a bit after the…

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VfL Wolfsburg said on Friday they were close to signing Germany winger Andre Schuerrle and selling striker Ivica Olic to Hamburg SV but the deals have not been signed yet. . The 24-year-old World Cup winner Schuerrle, who joined Chelsea in 2013 has struggled to carve out a regular starting spot. . Croatian forward Olic is set to move back to Hamburg once the Schuerrle deal is sealed. . “I say no,” Wolfsburg sports director Klaus Allofs when asked whether the much-reported deals were sealed. . “We have two issues, Olic to Hamburg and Schuerrle to us. Fact is this…

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Steve Bruce has been handed a boost as his Hull City side look to reverse a recent loss of form when they take on Newcastle United in Saturday’s early kick-off in the Barclays Premier League. . Hull sit in the relegation zone having lost three of their past four league matches. A lengthy injury list has hindered Bruce over recent weeks but he has received good news with the return to training of Nikica Jelavic, Abel Hernandez, Gaston Ramirez and Andy Robertson, while Alex Bruce also has a chance of recovering in time for the visit of the Magpies. .…

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Arsenal’s new signing Gabriel Paulista could make his Premier League debut against Aston Villa but leading goalscorer Alexis Sanchez is not likely to be risked with a hamstring injury, manager Arsene Wenger said on Friday. . The 24-year-old defender joined the Gunners from the Spanish side Villarreal earlier this week and Wenger is confident the Brazilian will provide stiff competition for first-choice central defenders Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. . “He’s ready to go. He’ll be in the squad, certainly,” Wenger told a news conference. “Maybe it will take some time to adapt completely, but overall it is very good…

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Tunisia head coach, George Leekens, has assured that midfielder Jamel Saihi will stay on for the Afcon despite criticisms from the leadership of his French club, Montpellier. . Leekens stressed that Saihi is a key player for the Carthage Eagles and will remain with the team for the duration of the Africa Cup of Nations if they progress to the last four. . “I can assure that Saihi will not leave the camp and he will stay till the last match for us. He is a key player in our team and we will not let him leave. We will…

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Algerian international striker, Islam Slimani, now looks all but out of this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea. . The Sporting Lisbon forward will miss the rest of the tournament due to a muscle injury that kept him out of their last group match against Senegal. . Slimani is not expected to be part of the squad to face Ivory Coast, according to reports from Algerian state television. . The Algerian striker picked up an injury in their first match against South Africa, and then suffered a relapse of the same injury in the second match against Ghana.…

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Ghana’s national team reached rock bottom with fans after a World Cup debacle in Brazil, but two thrilling victories over Algeria and South Africa at the Africa Cup of Nations have the Black Stars buzzing again. . After a disastrous outing at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, marked by indiscipline, an embarrassing row over appearance fees and a first round exit, Ghana’s national football team are hoping to warm themselves into the hearts of football fans once more. . Fans gave the Black Stars the thumbs-down when they let them down in Brazil after raising hopes for another good…

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Cameroon coach Volker Finke is giving his troops the thumbs up despite a group stage exit at the Afcon. . They Indomitable Lions crashed out after making a return to the elite African tournament following absences in 2012 and 2013. . They drew their opening two games with Mali and Guinea, before losing 1-0 to Cote d’Ivoire. . “I think really the Ivory Coast took advantage of a little mistake we made in the first half to score the goal,” Finke notes about their defeat to the Ivorians. . “We tried really hard. Everyone gave their best, so that’s why…

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Manchester City winger Scott Sinclair has joined Aston Villa on loan for the rest of the season, the Premier League clubs said on Friday. . The 25-year-old has failed to secure a regular place in the City side since his move to the Etihad Stadium from Swansea City in 2012 and has made only two appearances in the league this season. . Sinclair spent last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion, making 11 appearances in all competitions. . Champions City said the temporary deal with Villa could be made permanent at the end of the campaign. . “I am…

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