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Drogba double downs Gunners

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Didier Drogba came off the bench to net a late brace that gave Galatasaray a 2-1 victory over Arsenal and secured the Emirates Cup.

The Ivory Coast frontman — who left Chelsea after spearheading their 2012 Champions League final victory before a short stint with Shanghai Shenhua in China — converted a soft penalty on 78 minutes before then producing a crisp finish as the Turks secured their second victory of the weekend tournament, having fallen behind to Theo Walcott’s first-half curling effort.

Arsenal, who are still chasing a deal for wantaway Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, showed good form in patches, but again had no answer to the 35-year-old, who had been on Arsene Wenger’s radar as a youngster at Guingamp.

“We were in control, they didn’t look dangerous, but we were not capable of maintaining physically that rhythm and control in the second half and we were punished for it,” said Wenger. “We were exhausted in the end, but it was a good preparation.”

Arsenal’s only summer signing, Yaya Sanogo, a free transfer from Auxerre, was handed a start in attack, while Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla was back in action after extra time off following the Confederations Cup.

Former Gunner Emmanuel Eboue captained Galatasaray.

There was an early chance for France Under-21 striker Sanogo to become an instant cult hero when he collected a loose pass on the edge of the penalty area, but his angled shot was saved by Fernando Muslera.

Wenger felt Sanogo’s performance was sound.

“Considering he has only just come back from holiday with only three or four days’ training, what he did do is encouraging,” said the Arsenal boss.

Arsenal, who came from 2-0 down to draw with Rafa Benitez’s Napoli on Saturday, continued to press and had a penalty shout turned down after Aaron Ramsey tumbled.

On 18 minutes, Walcott expertly took down a long ball from the Welshman into the Galatasaray box, but could then only flick it over the keeper and wide.

Former Bolton forward Johan Elmander caused Arsenal some concern with his link-up play, but Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, making his first appearance of pre-season after injury, was not really tested.

Arsenal took the lead five minutes before half-time when Walcott’s curling cross from the left bounced through the six-yard box and dropped into the far corner.

Drogba was introduced for the second half — to some jeers from the home fans, who remembered him as a man who so often tormented Arsenal during his time with Chelsea. Dutch international Wesley Sneijder also came on.

Drogba was straight into the action, fashioning a chance when he turned Per Mertesacker just outside the Arsenal penalty area, but his shot was straight at Szczesny.

Arsenal, who made several expected substitutions, continued to look sharp, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looking to have been tripped in the penalty area before a downward header from Olivier Giroud was well saved.

The Turks threatened also as Szczesny beat away a fierce drive from Sneijder, the former Inter Milan midfielder.

Galatasaray were awarded a penalty on 78 minutes by referee Jon Moss when substitute Ignasi Miquel was adjudged to have pushed over Drogba, with contact looking minimal at best.

The former Chelsea man made no mistake from 12 yards to continue his fine scoring form against the Gunners.

Drogba then won it for Galatasaray when he collected a cross-field ball from Sneijder before cutting inside Mertesacker and drilling his shot past the Arsenal keeper.

Arsenal must now regroup for next weekend’s final pre-season friendly against Manchester City in Helsinki, before the action kicks off for real with the visit of Aston Villa on August 17.

Earlier in the day at the Emirates, Porto came from behind to earn a 3-1 victory against Napoli.

Napoli broke the deadlock just minutes before half-time as Goran Pandev converted a penalty, following Fernando’s nudge on the striker inside the box.

However, Porto came out fighting after the break and Nabil Ghilas soon found the equaliser with a neat finish past Napoli’s Rafael in goal, after some good work from Juan Fernando Quintero.

Porto started to look increasingly dangerous and deservedly took the lead when Federico Fernandez turned Silvestre Varela’s cross past his own goalkeeper in the 68th minute. Ten minutes later, Lica made the game safe, finishing from ten yards out after a mistake by Napoli defender Andrea Dossena.

Galatasaray finished the competition with nine points, ahead of FC Porto with six and Arsenal and Napoli with four.

 

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Kickboxer Patricia Apolot set for rematch with Kenya’s Joyce Awino

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Uganda’s top-ranked female kickboxer Patricia Apolot has vowed to crush Kenyan fighter Joyce Awino in their rematch slated for this weekend at Smiles Corner Hotel in Kireka, Kampala.

Known to many by her stage name “Black Pearl”, Apolot will return to the ring against Awino in the African title fight dubbed “The Reveletion Night of 1000 Punches” on Saturday, August 31. The fight is in low kick style sanctioned by both Uganda Kickboxing Federation (UKF) and World Kickboxing Federation (WKF).

The two fought in April this year in Tororo and Apolot won by knockout.

“I have trained hard and very ready, so my fans should come expecting the best from me,” Apolot said, adding that “I wish to thank my sponsors, Hima Cement, for their consistent financial and moral support towards my kickboxing career.”

Hima Cement Marketing and Pricing Manager, Charles Mugasi said that the sponsorship is intended to enable her perform to her best and inspire other young girls in Uganda to join the kickboxing sport.

Apolot who has been involved in 21 professional fights winning 12 by knockout has changed the kickboxing landscape in Uganda with her unique techniques and unmatched determination to grow the at different levels more especially young girls.

She has won several tittles from home, continental, and intercontinental fights which makes her the holder of the largest number of belts and gold medals in the sport in Uganda and Africa at large.

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Bamasaaba Sports Tournament gets Ugx 50 Million boost

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Pilsner Lager, a beer produced by Uganda Breweries, has announced a UGX50 million sponsorship package towards the upcoming Bamasaaba Sports Tournament 2019. The tournament will start on August 15 th and run up to October.

Organised by the Bamasaaba Sisimukha Club (BASC), the games bring together various teams from Masaaba communities in both Uganda and Kenya with the aim of honouring culture, promoting unity and the development of the Bamasaaba people through sports and games.

This year’s sponsorship package was announced at a press briefing held at Uganda Breweries’ head offices in Luzira.

While announcing the sponsorship, Edgar Kihumuro, the Pilsner Lager Brand Manager, said, “We live in an era when it is crucial for us to hold our cultural and traditional values close to heart. Pilsner Lager, as a brand, understands and cares about the pride associated with a deep African heritage and this commitment has seen us invest in the development of local sports potential, for example, with the ongoing Pilsner Super 8 Tournament. By sponsoring the Bamasaaba Sports tournament, not only are we advancing a passion for sports but also for the traditions that bring people together.”

The tournament has, in the past, attracted various teams drawn from over 20 clans from the districts covering Mbale, Bududa, Sironko, Manafwa and Bulambuli in Uganda and the Bamasaaba Kenya Chapter which covers Trans Nzoia and Bungoma.

“The Bamasaaba Sports Tournament continues to be a wonderful opportunity for our people to come together in celebration of our culture and tradition. In addition, our youth are encouraged to stay in touch with their rich heritage through sports, which inspire, entertain and give them an opportunity to showcase their talent,” said Israel Koboi, Chairperson of the Bamasaaba Sisimukha Club.

The sports tournament places an emphasis on football and netball that will be played in a series of group knockout stages.

“This year, we plan to include new activities like bicycle riding, a marathon, bull riding and shortput and we are glad for the support of partners like Pilsner Lager for being part of this journey,” Koboi added.

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Kawempe S.S dominates Airtel Rising Stars Kampala Regional Tournament

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Last weekend, Airtel Uganda hosted the best youth football teams from Kampala district at Sendi grounds in Wankulukuku for the Airtel Rising Stars Kampala Regional tournament – the first regional tournament of the 2019 competitions.

The 3-day tournament, which had 16 boys’ and 8 girls’ teams, saw Kawempe Muslim SS dominate on both fronts with their boys team defeating 2018 winner Kampala Junior Team (KJT) 5-4 in penalty shoot-outs following a goal-less draw after 90 minutes.

The Kawempe Muslim SS girls’ team also defeated Uganda Martyrs 2 -1 in an exciting and nerve-wracking match watched by Honorable Nabilah Nagayi, the Kampala Woman MP, FUFA leadership led by 2nd Vice President Darius Mugoya and Airtel Uganda Brand and Strategy Manager Ms. Noela Byuma.

Following their victory, both Kawempe Muslim boys and girls teams walked away with a trophy, gold medals each and 1.5 million shillings each. Runners up KJT (boys) and Uganda Martyrs (girls) also took hom a trophy, silver medals for the players and 1 million shillings. Uganda Martyrs’ Kevin
Nakachwa was named girls MVP while Jeremiah Jabel from St. Mary’s took home the boys MVP accolade.

Commenting about this tournament, Airtel’s Noela Byuma congratulated the winners and encouraged all the other teams to continue training for their comeback in the 2020 tournament.

“The talent that we have seen over the past three days has been a clear indicator for the need to continue investing in grassroots talent development. These youth are skilled, passionate and determined and these are the values that Airtel Rising Stars aims to develop as they go on to pursue professional careers in football,” she noted.

Since 2011, the Airtel Rising Stars grassroots football tournament has given talented boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 17 an opportunity to compete against fellow youth from across the country with hopes of being scouted to join the local league, football clubs all over the world and the Uganda national team. Today, the Uganda national men and women football teams both consist of a number of players who took part in this tournament.

Kampala Region has named thirty boys (30) and 30 girls who will prepare for the Airtel Rising Stars National finals due in early September.

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