World number two Andy Murray reached his fifth Australian Open final after an epic five-set battle with 13th seed Milos Raonic. Briton Murray was broken in the first game and his 25-year-old Canadian opponent went on to take the first and third sets. But the 28-year-old Scotsman prevailed 4-6 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-2 in a gruelling four-hour contest. Murray will now meet reigning champion Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final. “It was tough in that third set. In the tie-break he didn’t miss a single serve and it is frustrating when you don’t get a say in the points,” said Murray. “Over the match, I got a better read on his serve and that was crucial.”
Former Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic has announced his retirement from football. Vidic, 34, was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson for £7m in January 2006. In eight years at Old Trafford he won five Premier League titles, three League Cups, the Champions League and the Club World Cup. He left United for Inter Milan in July 2014, but the Serie A side cancelled his contract in January. Vidic said: “The time has come for me to hang up my boots,” he said. “The injuries I have had in the last few years have taken their toll.” “I would like to thank all the players I have played with, all the managers and staff I have worked with, and say a big ‘thank you’ to the fans for their support over the years.”
Arsene Wenger confirmed today in a news conference ahead of an FA cup tie with Burnley that two of the stand-out players in the Nigeria under-17 team, Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze are close to signing for Arsenal.
Swansea City’s sale of goalkeeper Michel Vorm to Tottenham is currently the subject of a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing. Utrecht are taking action as the Dutch club claim they are owed a sell-on fee after the Dutchman joined Spurs in 2014 – a move which Swansea say was a free transfer. The club are represented at the hearing – which started in Switzerland at 10am Nigerian time and is expected to run for most of the day – by chairman Huw Jenkins.
Manchester United have entered the race to sign CSKA Moscow striker Ahmed Musa. The Nigerian captain has this month been linked with Premier League rivals Leicester, who are thought to have had rejected their £15.1million opening bid. CSKA are reportedly holding out for at least £18.9m for the pacey striker, who has 10 goals to his name this term. The Foxes are expected to up their bid before the January window expires, but now face competition from United for the 23-year-old’s services. The Red Devils have scored the least amount of goals out of the top eight teams in the Premier League this season and Louis van Gaal is desperate to add more fire power to his front line. While Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has made no secret of his desire to sign a striker to boost his side’s title bid after loaning out Andrej Kramaric to Fiorentina. The Italian said: “It’s important to have two players for every position. Our strength is to play with high intensity. “It’s not possible to play with that intensity for all the season. So I would like another striker to give support to the other three. “Everyone is reinforcing now, taking players because they want to save their season or they want to win something. “We want to maintain this position. I know it’s difficult, but we must try. This is a strange league. The big teams are not at the top, but there is Leicester – unbelievable.”
The Golden Eaglets stormed Canada for the U-17 world cup in 1987. They played 1 – 1 draw against then USSR (Soviet Union) in their first game. They later defeated Bolivia 3 – 2 and lost 0 – 1 to Mexico in their second and final group games and emerged second in Group D behind USSR. They beat Australia 1 – 0 in the quarterfinals and defeated Italy 1 – 0 in the semifinals to set up a rematch against USSR in the final. The final game ended 1 – 1 after extra time but USSR won 4 – 2 on penalties.
The Golden Eaglets came second in the competition with Nigeria’s Philip Osondu emerging the tournaments’s Most Valuable Player and was presented with a Golden Ball. The commentator had screamed during the final match that “if Nigeria wins this match, I’m not gonna be surprised because they’ve got a bunch of talented players”. The great Pele watched with delight and said that with what he was seeing, an African team would win the world cup in no distant time. What went wrong afterwards?