The African champions, Super Eagles of Nigeria, confirmed their supremacy over Stallions of Burkina Faso in Tuesday’s international friendly played in Kaduna. The match is somewhat a replay of the finals of the African Cup of Nations involving the two teams earlier in the year in South Africa. The Super Eagles proved that their victory over Burkina Faso in the Africa Cup of Nations played earlier this year was no fluke as they silenced the Stallions 4-1 in an international friendly played at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium on Tuesday.
A first half brace from Brown Ideye plus second half goals from Shola Ameobi and Emmanuel Emenike were all the reigning African champions needed to send their boastful west African neigbours back home empty-handed. Saidou Simpore scored a consolatory goal for the visitors late in the second half.
England boss Roy Hodgson has confirmed Frank Lampard will earn his 100th cap against Ukraine on Tuesday. The Chelsea midfielder, 35, will become only the eighth Three Lions player to reach the milestone, joining team-mates Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole. Lampard made his England debut in October 1999 under previous boss Kevin Keegan in a 2-1 friendly win over Belgium at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light. Since then he has gone on to score 29 times for his country and has captained them five times.
Members of England’s 100 club
125: Peter Shilton (1970-1990)
115: David Beckham (1996-2009)
108: Bobby Moore (1962-1973)
106: Bobby Charlton (1958-1970)
105: Billy Wright (1946-1959)
104: Ashley Cole (2001-present)
104: Steven Gerrard (2000-present)
Chelsea new boy Samuel Eto’o will be able to devote more time to helping the club win trophies after announcing he is to retire from international football. The 32-year-old striker said he would quit the Cameroon national team for ‘family reasons’ after a reported row with coach Volker Finke over team selection, despite helping his side to reach the final round of African qualification for the World Cup in Brazil. Eto’o, who also threatened to retire from international football in September 2012 before changing his mind, told team-mates in the dressing room after Sunday’s 1-0 home win over Libya he was ending his 16-year career with the Indomitable Lions, according to French newspaper L’Equipe. His announcement follows a week of tension in the team camp after Eto’o demanded the selection of goalkeeper Carlos Kameni and striker Achille Webo against Libya, with German Finke refusing to agree. Eto’o, four times African Footballer of the Year, initially suggested he was not fit to play because of a groin injury but did take part in the match and even wore the captain’s armband before being replaced on the hour mark. Cameroon now face a two-legged playoff in October and November to qualify for Brazil. Eto’o, who signed for Chelsea from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala last month, has scored 56 goals in 114 appearances for Cameroon and appeared at three World Cup finals in 1998, 2002 and 2010.
World number one Serena Williams won her fifth US Open title in a thrilling final against Victoria Azarenka at Flushing Meadows. The American, 31, overcame a determined opponent and a testing wind to win 7-5 6-7 (6-8) 6-1 and repeat last year’s final victory against the Belarusian. Williams has now won 17 Grand Slam singles titles, moving her to within one of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, and seven short of Margaret Court’s record total of 24. But after letting a double-break lead slip in the second set, and twice failing to serve out the match, Williams was made to dig as deep as in any of her 16 previous major wins. “Vika’s such a great opponent, such a great fighter and that’s why she’s been able to win multiple Grand Slams,” Williams said of Azarenka after their contest. “That’s why it was never over until match point.” Azarenka, 24, had beaten Williams twice this year, the last time in Cincinnati on the eve of the US Open, and clearly believed she could defeat the American on a bigger stage.
Manuel Pellegrini has been confirmed as the new manager of Manchester City after signing a three-year contract. The 59-year-old Chilean arrives from Malaga and fills the role vacated by Roberto Mancini, who was sacked in May. “I am delighted to accept this hugely exciting opportunity,” said Pellegrini, who will begin his new job on 24 June. “The club has a clear vision for success both on and off the pitch and I am committed to making a significant contribution.” Brian Kidd will remain on the coaching staff, with Ruben Cousillas joining as assistant manager, and goalkeeping coach Xabier Mancisidor and fitness coach Jose Cabello also part of the new backroom set-up. The trio worked under Pellegrini at Malaga.
Rafael Nadal beat fellow Spaniard David Ferrer and win a record eighth French Open title. Nadal, 27, came through 6-3 6-2 6-3 to reaffirm his dominance on clay, and further elevate himself among the greats of the sport. “I’m very happy, very emotional,” he said. “It’s a very important victory for me.” However, the final was interrupted by a brief protest high in the stands during the second set that was quickly followed by an intruder leaping onto the court while brandishing a flare. Security guards managed to bundle the man to the ground as he approached Nadal, and the player even took care to shake an official’s hand before returning to the action. “Just can I say thank you very much to all the security guys,” he said afterwards. “They did just amazing work. “They were very quick, and they were very courageous about what they did in the first moment.”
World number one Serena Williams today won a second French Open title 11 years after her first with a convincing win over defending champion Maria Sharapova. The American, 31, was pushed at times but led throughout, winning 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 46 minutes. Williams has now won 16 Grand Slam singles titles, moving her to within two of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, who have 18 each. And with an unbeaten run that now stands at 31 matches, she will be strongly favoured to add to that tally at Wimbledon next month. Sharapova had come into Saturday’s final promising to “try something different” after failing to beat Williams in their last 12 matches, stretching back to 2004.