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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.

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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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Kabushenga orders Vision Group Employees To Wear Cranes Jersey on Wednesday

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By Staff Writer

Uganda will be facing off with Zimbabwe in a crucial match that could seal our fate.

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If Uganda wins, it will automatically qualify for the next round of Afcon games.

Vision Group CEO, Robert Kabushenga has ordered all staff to show up in a full Cranes jersey. He has instituted punitive action for those who fail to comply.

We are just hoping this directive comes with a jersey allowance.

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UTB partners with FUFA to promote sports tourism

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UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova signs the MoU with FUFA to promote sports tourism.

UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova signs MoU with FUFA to promote sports tourism.

By Our Reporter

Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has entered into a Ugx200m sponsorship agreement and partnership with the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) as the official tourism partner.

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The two institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding; which will see both parties work hand in hand to promote brand “destination Uganda” at both the domestic and international scene.

The partnership gives UTB rights to brand Destination Uganda at local and international games in which the Uganda Cranes are participating as well as work with the players in destination marketing campaigns.

Speaking at the press conference, UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova said: “The Uganda Tourism Board is prioritizing the building of positive destination brand equity and brand value through creating high level brand awareness partnerships such as the one witnessed here today with FUFA.”

Football is the world’s greatest sport and viewed by billions of fans across the world. In Uganda, the Uganda Cranes is the greatest football brand- but more importantly the leading sporting ambassadors to the region and the world.

Ajarova noted, “We are most excited about how we can best brand our national team internationally and also use the FUFA DRUM to create awareness of Uganda’s tourist attractions as the games traverse the whole country. We believe this is an incredible opportunity to connect with local communities and football fans across the country and will enable us to reach out to more tourists both locally and internationally.”

FUFA 1st Vice President, Justus Mugisha in his remarks said that, “We are using the power of sports to position Uganda on a global scene. This initiative by FUFA and UTB will showcase how football can be used to promote destination Uganda. We are proud to be in partnership and we hope to continue building our nation through sports and tourism.”

He added, this is a big opportunity for us to not only support football but also enrich Ugandans with the knowledge about their own country.

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Uganda ladies crowned champions at the Africa 5s tournament

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Team Uganda emerged the best at the inaugural edition of the ladies’ Africa Fives Soccer Championships played at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es-Salaam, Tanzania over the weekend.

The team sponsored by Nile Special comprising of players like Vanessa Karungi, Brenda Nabisaalu, Wilmer Nantumbwe, Sarah Namulindwa, Memory Nampijja and Brenda Makanga, defeated the Tanzania Invitational side 1-0 in the final played on Saturday afternoon.

Captain Nampijja scored the winner-takes-it-all strike in the ninth minute of the 12-minute first half.

With a large number of Tanzanian fans cheering, Uganda held on in the second half with goalkeeper Karungi pulling off a couple of saves to guide Uganda to victory.

“We are happy to bring this trophy home,” said winning captain Nampijja after receiving the trophy from tournament ambassador Samuel Eto’o. The team will travel with former Cameroonian forward Eto’o to FC Barcelona’s home -Camp Nou.

Speaking about the women’s side triumph, Nile Special brand manager Francis Nyende was ecstatic and visibly in shock at the result.

“This Uganda’s inaugural participation in this tournament, and we have won the trophy! This is unbelievable. Kudos to the girls who have given it their everything. As a brand heavily involved in sports, we hope this victory will inspire more ladies to play this game,” said Nyende.

The team had beaten pre-tournament favourites South Africa 2-1 via a shootout where Karungi saved two penalties following a goalless draw.

In the quarterfinals, Uganda comfortably beat Ghana 3-0 with Nantumbwe striking twice. Uganda had beaten Zimbabwe 2-1, had a 1-1 draw with Tanzania A before losing to Swaziland 1-0 in Group A on Friday.

In the men’s category, Uganda was unlucky to be ejected after conceding a goal. Represented by Facebook FC franchise, which won the Nile Special 5-A-Side competition finals, Uganda beat Swaziland 5-0, Zimbabwe 1-0 and Tanzania 1-0 to top Group A on Friday but on Saturday, they lost to Group B bottom team Zambia 2-1 via penalties following a 0-0 stalemate.

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