Nigeria striker Desire Oparanozie scored the only goal against a disciplined South Africa to earn her side a place in the final of the African Women’s Cup of Nations against Cameroon. South Africa started brightly but the Desiree Ellis-led side failed to capitalise on their early dominance. Oparanozie and Ngozi Okobi both had chances to put seven-time champions Nigeria ahead in the 25th minute, but goalkeeper Andile Dlamini thwarted their shots. Seven minutes later, South Africa had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside.
Isaac Success is set to return to training this week and be in contention to face West Bromwich Albion in news that will help lift any lingering gloom following the defeat to Stoke City. Success has been out for five games and six weeks, much longer than anyone expected, after picking up a muscle injury in the win over Middlesbrough. Two trips to Barcelona to see Dr Roman Cugat and daily work with club physio Oli Leaper and therapist Giorgio Gasparini have finally restored him to full health and put him in line to return with the rest of the main training group.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been charged by the Football Association for kicking a bottle in frustration during the 1-1 draw against West Ham at Old Trafford on Sunday. Mourinho, 53, who was sent to the stands by referee Jon Moss, was charged with improper conduct on Monday. He has until 7pm on 1 December to respond. It is the second charge for the Portuguese in two months after he was sent off against Burnley on 29 October.
Jose Mourinho is set to make a shock move to land former player John Mikel Obi from Chelsea. Mikel, 29, has not played under new Stamford Bridge manager Antonio Conte and there are no plans to renew his contract which runs out this season. Now the Manchester United boss is ready to take advantage with a cut-price New Year offer for the player the Red Devils thought they had signed ten years ago.
A plane carrying 81 people, including a top Brazilian football team, has crashed on its approach to the city of Medellin in Colombia, officials say. Reports say there are 25 dead and six survivors. The chartered aircraft, flying from Bolivia, was carrying members of the Chapecoense football team, airport officials said. The team was due to play in the final of the Copa Sudamericana, against Medellin team Atletico Nacional. The first leg of the final of the cup, South America’s second most important club competition, was scheduled for Wednesday, but has now been suspended.
Saturday 26th November, 2016:
Burnley 1 – 2 Manchester City
Hull City 1 – 1 West Brom
Leicester 2 – 2 Middlebrough
Liverpool 2 – 0 Sunderland
Swansea 5 – 4 Crystal Palace
Chelsea 2 – 1 Tottenham
Sunday 27th November, 2016:
Watford 0 – 1 Stoke City
Arsenal 3 – 1 Bournemouth
Manchester United 1 – 1 West Ham
Southampton 1 – 0 Everton
- Victor Moses started for Chelsea and scored the winner at they beat Tottenham 2 – 1 at home at the Stamford Bridge. He was replaced in the 81st minute by Ivanovic.
- Victor Anichebe started for Sunderland and played full time as lost away 2 – 0 to Liverpool at the Anfield.
- Kelechi Iheanacho was an unused substitute for Manchester City as they beat Burnley 2 – 1 away at the Turf Moor.
- Alex Iwobi was an unused substitute for Arsenal as they beat Bournemouth 3 – 1 at home at the Emirates Stadium.
- Ahmed Musa came in at the 78th minute for Leicester as they lost 2 – 1 away to Watford at the Vicarage Road.
- Odion Ighalo came on for Watford in the 56th minute as they lost 1 – 0 to Stoke City at home at the Vicarage Road.
- Isaac Success was not selected for Watford’s game against Stoke City while Mikel Obi was also not selected for Chelsea’s game against Tottenham.
Former Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard has retired, ending a 19-year playing career. Gerrard, 36, played 710 times for the Reds, winning nine trophies, but joined MLS side LA Galaxy in 2015. The midfielder is England’s fourth most-capped player with 114 appearances and captained the side at three of the six major tournaments he played at. “I feel lucky to have experienced so many wonderful highlights over the course of my career,” said Gerrard. “I have had an incredible career and am thankful for each and every moment of my time at Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy. “I fulfilled my childhood dream by pulling on the famous red shirt of Liverpool.” Gerrard said he will take time to consider his options before making an announcement on the next stage of his career “very soon”, adding: “I am excited about the future and feel I still have a lot to offer the game, in whatever capacity that may be.”
Cristiano Ronaldo needs two more goals to become the first player to score 100 times in European competition as Real Madrid come up against his former side Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League later. The Portuguese has 98 goals, with 95 of those coming in the Champions League. Defending champions Real need only point from their Group F game in Lisbon to progress to the last 16. Zinedine Zidane’s team have eight points from their four group games, two behind German side Borussia Dortmund who have already qualified for the knockout stage and play bottom side Legia Warsaw on Tuesday. As well as 95 goals in the Champions League proper, Ronaldo has found the net once in Champions League qualifying (for Manchester United against Debrecen in 2005), and twice in the 2014 Uefa Super Cup final for Real.
Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Football) – The Nigerian striker previously with Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton and Blackburn, born 1982, turns 34 today.
Asamoah Gyan (Football) – Ghana and Al-Ahli striker, formerly with Sunderland, born 1985, is 31.
Marouane Fellaini (Football) – The Manchester United and Belgium midfielder, born 1987, is celebrating his 29th birthday.
Chris Smalling (Football) – Manchester United and England defender, born 1989, is 27.
Boris Becker (Tennis) – The youngest Wimbledon champion at the age of 17, born 1967, turns 49 today.
Marvan Atapattu (Cricket) – The former Sri Lanka captain, born 1970, is celebrating his 46th birthday.
Billie-Jean King (Tennis) – The winner of 12 Grand Slam singles titles, born 1943, is 73 today.
Liverpool goalkeeper Adam Bogdan’s loan spell at Wigan is expected to be cut short after he suffered a season-ending knee injury. Bogdan, who joined the Latics in the summer and was due to stay for the full campaign, was carried off on a stretcher during the second half of the goalless draw at Barnsley on Saturday. Scans have revealed the Hungary international suffered a tear to his anterior cruciate ligament. The 29-year-old has made six appearances for the Reds, two in the Premier League, since signing on a free transfer from Bolton in the summer of 2015.
The Confederation of African Football have taken the unusual step of suspending two referees for three months after poor performances in 2018 World Cup qualifiers in November. Ghanaian Joseph Lamptey incorrectly awarded South Africa a penalty in their 2-1 win over Senegal. Kenyan referee Davies Omweno denied Libya what was a valid goal in their 1-0 defeat by Tunisia. His assistant, Berhe O’Michael of Eritrea, had wrongly flagged offside. CAF also warned the other assistant referee in the match, Rwanda’s Theogene Ndagijimana.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino says he is in favour of introducing video refereeing for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The head of world football’s governing body told Tuesday’s Le Parisien newspaper that he was sceptical at first about using video technology to assist referees in crucial decisions but added: “I have come to the conclusion after tests that this is not the case.” The International Football Association Board (IFAB), an independent body, approved video technology testing in March to be carried out over a two-year period. “We will multiply (the tests) over the two-year period and decide in March 2018,” said Infantino. “I hope we will have video refereeing in time for the 2018 World Cup.”
Paris St-Germain full-back Serge Aurier has been stopped from entering the United Kingdom by authorities before Wednesday’s Champions League match at Arsenal. The Ivorian, 23, was given a two-month suspended prison sentence in September for assaulting a police officer. PSG say UK authorities granted Aurier a visa in October but revoked it on 16 November, citing his conviction. The French champions said the timing of the ruling showed “a lack of respect”. Aurier is appealing his conviction, leading PSG to believe he is entitled to be presumed innocent. “Paris Saint-Germain strongly regrets that the presumption of innocence has not influenced Britain’s decision,” said the French champions in a statement.
Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic will have a statue erected in his honour after being named Sweden’s top player for a 10th successive year. The 36-year-old striker received his ‘Guldbollen’ – Golden Ball – award on Monday at a ceremony in Stockholm. The statue will go outside Stockholm’s Friends Arena, where Ibrahimovic scored four goals against England in 2012. Ibrahimovic said: “It’s huge for me. Most people do not get a statue until they have passed away.” The Swede has won the award every year since 2007 – and also came top in 2005 before losing out to Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg a year later.
Former Germany player and boss Jurgen Klinsmann has been sacked as coach of the United States. The 52-year-old, who won the World Cup as a player with Germany in 1990, took over as US boss in 2011. “We remain confident we have quality players to help us advance to Russia 2018,” said US Soccer president Sunil Gulati. “But the form and growth of the team up to this point left us convinced that we need to go in a different direction.” Klinsmann steered the United States to the last 16 at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after finishing above Portugal in their group. However, they lost 2-1 at home to Mexico and 4-0 away to Costa Rica in their opening two qualifying matches for the 2018 tournament. The US are pointless and bottom of the six-country qualifying group, below the likes of Panama and Honduras, albeit only a fifth of the way through the qualifying process. “With the next qualifying match in late March, we have several months to refocus,” added Gulati. “We need to determine the best way forward to ensure a successful journey to qualify for our eighth consecutive World Cup.”
Rosario Central forward Teo Gutierrez sparked a brawl which led to himself and an opponent being sent off during his side’s match at Boca Juniors in the Argentine league. He scored and went to celebrate in front of Boca supporters by drawing an imaginary diagonal stripe across his shirt, a clear reference to his former club’s white shirts with red diagonal stripe. Furious Boca players surrounded Gutierrez, pushed and shoved him and knocked him to the ground. Rosario players then leapt to his defence, causing a brawl which lasted several minutes before he and Boca’s Ricardo Centurion were both sent off.
Ivory Coast captain and former Arsenal striker Gervinho has had successful surgery on ruptured cruciate ligaments but faces up to six months on the sidelines and will miss his team’s defence of the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon in January. The 29-year-old was injured in training with his Chinese club Hebei Fortune last month but only underwent surgery in Paris last week.
Belgium newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws are running a story today saying Premier League champions Leicester City are trying to sign 19-year-old Genk midfielder Wilfried Ndidi. The player can also play as a central defender and has been capped by Nigeria.
Andy Murray set his sights on adding to his three Grand Slam titles after securing the year-end number one ranking with victory at the ATP World Tour Finals. The Briton, 29, beat Novak Djokovic 6-3 6-4 in London to ensure he will stay ahead of the Serb heading into 2017. “Now that I’ve got there, I obviously would be motivated to try and stay in that position,” said Murray. “But the majors get me working hard – they really, really motivate me.” Murray, 29, won his third major title at Wimbledon in July, and ended the year on a 24-match winning streak that culminated with victory over Djokovic at the O2 Arena. He will now take a break, including attending his father Willie’s stag do, before turning his attention to the new season and the Australian Open.