The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said: “Having keenly followed the senior national football team’s progress in the qualifying stages, President Buhari is enthused by their confidence, sense of patriotism and professionalism, and commends these attributes to other Nigerians.”The President also commended the coaching crew, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Supporters Club, especially Nigerians residing in South Africa who turned out in great numbers to cheer the players, for a job well-done, and assures them of the unflinching support of the federal government going forward.“The President wishes the young Nigerian football ambassadors more successes as they prepare for the AFCON tournament in Cameroon,” Adesina stated.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram By Shola Oyeyipo in AbujaPresident Muhammadu Buhari has joined millions of football-loving Nigerians to felicitate with the Super Eagles of Nigeria on their qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after a draw with the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in an encounter in Johannesburg Saturday.Buhari commended the Nigerian team for their spirited and disciplined performance against the formidable South African side which earned them qualification and making the Nigeria -Seychelles game a mere formality. Muhammadu Buhari
Talk about being thrown right into the fire.With UW junior goalie Brian Elliott injuring his left leg at practice Wednesday, freshman Shane Connelly — who has yet to see action in a regular season game — has quickly become the center of attention as the No. 1-ranked Badgers host No. 19 Denver this weekend.”This would be a first,” Connelly said after practice Thursday as he was surrounded by a group of reporters. “It’s something new. I’m pretty excited.”Elliott had been nothing short of spectacular between the pipes through UW’s first 22 contests, compiling an 18-2-2 record, a 1.40 goals against average and a .946 save percentage. He was the top goalie and arguably the best player in the country this season.Now he will be forced to view the next 3-4 weeks in street clothes.The only action outside of practice Connelly has seen since joining the Badgers’ squad at the beginning of this season came against the United States Under-18 team a month ago.The Cheltenham, Penn. native made 19 saves but gave up five goals as Wisconsin picked up a 6-5 come-from-behind victory.It was not quite the debut that Connelly had hoped for, but he said getting to see some action did help his progress.”I watched the tape, went back to work with [goalie coach Bill Howard] and just got in the flow a little more,” Connelly said. “I’ve watched a lot of gamedays, but now I’ve got one under my belt. More confidence is the biggest thing.”Included in the five goals allowed were a few that slipped through his legs, which undoubtedly he would love to have back.But that performance is in the rearview mirror at this point, and Connelly will be thrust into the limelight under the grandest of circumstances.Not only will he be making his official debut for the top-ranked team in the country looking to knock off the two-time defending national champion Pioneers, he will be doing so in front of a sold-out Kohl Center.”I never thought it would be my first WCHA game, but it’s arrived,” Connelly said. “I’m more excited than nervous.”Connelly has been preparing all year and each individual weekend just in case he would be needed.”Each weekend you kind of get your mindset just in case, get ready,” Connelly said.That “just-in-case” moment happened to come Wednesday.”This is obviously one of the biggest days of my life coming up … I’m just excited and ready to go,” Connelly said.”I think I’m ready.”Knocking off the PioneersThere is no doubt that both teams will have bulls-eyes on their backs at the Kohl Center this weekend.Denver will be trying to defend its national title while the now-battered Badgers trying to hold onto their No. 1 ranking and maintain their lead in the WCHA, and this is the only time they will see each other in the regular season.”What it adds up to is another great weekend,” Eaves said. “That becomes a natural motivator.”Denver struggled a bit last weekend, splitting with St. Cloud State, but remains tied for second in the WCHA with Minnesota, eight points behind Wisconsin.Even though they will be without Elliott, the Badgers are taking this series as if it were any other.”Nothing’s going to change this weekend,” senior assistant captain Tom Gilbert said. “We’re going to come out hard, score some goals and get four points this weekend.”In league games, Denver ranks fourth on offense with 3.31 goals per game and also has the third-best defense, allowing 2.62 goals per game.They have two of the top three scorers in the league in sophomore Paul Stastny and junior Matt Carle, but senior Gabe Gauthier may be the biggest threat.”Gauthier is their biggest talent,” senior captain Adam Burish said. “We’ve got to be real aware when he’s on the ice.”Between the pipes, the Pioneers have split time between the talented duo of sophomore Peter Mannino (2.35 GAA, .917 save percentage) and junior Glenn Fisher (2.77, .901).The Badgers will probably have to knock in a few extra goals — which wasn’t a problem when they scored 12 in two games at Colorado College last week — if they hope to be successful.UW, along with boasting the toughest defense in the league — they are allowing just 1.44 goals per game — can also now lay claim to the WCHA’s best offense, as the Badgers effort last weekend propelled them to 3.94 goals per league game.Of course, without Elliott, it’s a whole new ballgame.
Liverpool Klopp and Liverpool have Mourinho’s Man Utd in their sights Chris Burton 20:08 2/12/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Liverpool Premier League Manchester United Jürgen Klopp Victory for the Reds over the weekend and defeat for their arch-rivals means there are now just two points separating the sides in the Premier League Jurgen Klopp has Manchester United in his sights after seeing Liverpool close to within two points of their arch-rivals in the Premier League table.Another intriguing round of fixtures in the English top-flight has intensified the battle for Champions League spots.Manchester City, who are now 16 points clear at the summit, are running away with the title, but second and fifth are separated by just six points. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Liverpool have moved up to third, following a comfortable 2-0 victory over Southampton, with a shock 1-0 defeat for United at Newcastle leaving Jose Mourinho’s side within striking distance for Klopp and his ambitious troops on Merseyside.The German coach said after narrowing that gap: “I didn’t know United had lost before the game but we know we’re not far away.“We play against them one more time this season at least, so that’s good. For us, 54 points is important.“What the other teams have we have no influence on. We just need to make sure we keep on winning to keep up the pressure.”Liverpool are set to head for Old Trafford on March 10.The Red Devils also have meetings with Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal to come before the end of the season, with plenty of twists and turns to be expected.Klopp believes the tussle for top-four finishes will go to the wire, with it up to his side to ensure that they remain in the mix.He added on his targets for the remainder of the 2017-18 campaign: “We want to finish the season top four. The only thing we can do is win our games.“But it will stay tight until the end. The quality of the teams is so big.“Also, in the last few years, a few teams had reached their targets in mid-table by this stage.“Apart from Leicester and Burnley no one has done that. So that will also make the league interesting to the end.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web