Comoros name defender Alhadhur in goal against Cameroon

By Sports Desk January 24, 2022

Comoros have been forced to name defender Chaker Alhadhur in goal for their Africa Cup of Nations last-16 clash with Cameroon.

The island nation are competing at their first AFCON and caused a major upset in getting out of the group stage, but their fairytale has swiftly turned into something of a nightmare.

An injury to first-choice goalkeeper Salim Ben Boina was followed up by back-ups Ali Ahamada and Moyadh Ousseini testing positive for COVID-19.

Comoros confirmed on Monday that Ahamada had returned a negative coronavirus test and rejoined the squad, sparking hope that Les Coelacantes might be able to face hosts Cameroon on something of a level playing field.

But reports soon began to emerge claiming the Confederation of African Football (CAF) was insisting Ahamada could not compete because he still needed to adhere to a five-day period of isolation.

CAF did not respond when contacted by Stats Perform, however Comoros' starting XI included Alhadhur as the team's starting goalkeeper, with the team's official Twitter account saying: "Following the decision of CAF not to authorize Ali Ahamada to play, it is Chaker Alhadhur who will be the goalkeeper of the team."

The 30-year-old, who represents French club Ajaccio, is nominally a left-back but will start arguably the biggest match of his career between the posts.

Related items

  • Spurs are on their way to Wembley after dramatic extra-time win over Leicester Spurs are on their way to Wembley after dramatic extra-time win over Leicester

    Martha Thomas’ 118th-minute header sent Tottenham into a maiden Women’s FA Cup final after a pulsating 2-1 win over Leicester after extra-time.

    Spurs had switched this semi-final tie to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and an attendance of 18,078 was recorded, but the visitors threatened to be party poopers when Jutta Rantala smashed home in the 12th minute.

    It looked like being the winner for a Leicester side heavily affected by off-the-field matters this season with Willie Kirk sacked in March and Jennifer Foster in interim charge, but Jess Naz forced extra-time with seven minutes of normal time left.

    And Robert Vilahamn’s team produced a dramatic finale when substitute Thomas headed home for her 10th goal of the campaign to send Tottenham through to next month’s final and earn them a first trip to Wembley.

    These teams had met last month in a low-key Women’s Super League encounter at Brisbane Road, but Spurs switched this fixture to the men’s stadium and it was given the big-match treatment.

    Home fans waved flags as the players entered the pitch, but Leicester almost silenced an expectant crowd inside three minutes only for Sam Tierney to lob wide after she spotted Becky Spencer off her line.

    Tottenham soon settled with Grace Clinton pulling the strings and she sent Celin Bizet away for two fine chances, but the Norway international was denied by the legs of Lize Kop before she lifted another effort over.

    But it was the visitors who took the lead.

    The ball broke for CJ Bott, who recycled possession out to Rantala and she cut inside and unleashed a powerful left-footed strike from 18 yards past Spencer.

    It was nearly 2-0 after 16 minutes when Deanne Rose burst down the left and crossed for Tierney, but her weak effort was saved by Spurs goalkeeper Spencer.

    Chances were few and far between until Eveliina Summanen headed over from close range after an Amanda Nilden corner, but Leicester’s Lena Petermann had got a slight touch to the ball to put off the Finnish midfielder.

    Leicester had penalty appeals waved away when Rose tangled with Ashleigh Neville in the area before the lively Foxes attacker fired wide as it remained 1-0 at the break.

    The second period was seconds old when Rantala found Petermann inside the area, but Spurs defender Luana Buhler made a vital block.

    Tottenham responded with captain Bethany England and Nilden firing off target before a corner by the latter set up an opportunity for Summanen, but she blazed over from six yards.

    Vilahamn had seen enough and introduced top goalscorer Thomas with 23 minutes of normal time left before Kit Graham was also sent on.

    The final roll of the dice by Vilahamn was a triple substitution in the 77th-minute and six minutes later they levelled.

    It was a moment to forget for ex-Spurs midfielder Josie Green who failed to clear England’s long ball forward and Naz showed supreme composure to slot into the corner.

    That goal sparked a dramatic finale with Leicester substitute Shannon O’Brien denied by Spencer, but that was bettered by Kop, who produced an excellent finger-tip save to thwart Tottenham’s Thomas deep into stoppage-time.

    Extra-time was required and the visitors were inches away from a second when Rantala’s 99th-minute free-kick rattled the crossbar after a key Spencer save.

    It proved decisive as with minutes left, substitute Matilda Vinberg’s whipped cross was flicked on by Buhler for Thomas to head home and spark wild celebrations in Tottenham.

  • Germany boss Nagelsmann will not be lured back to Bayern, says Ramelow Germany boss Nagelsmann will not be lured back to Bayern, says Ramelow

    Bayern Munich may always have an "attraction" to coaches but Carsten Ramelow does not expect Germany boss Julian Nagelsmann to return to the Bundesliga giants.

    Nagelsmann was dismissed from his role as Bayern coach back in March 2023, as his former side were trying to make ground on Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga title race.

    Thomas Tuchel was swiftly appointed as his replacement, leading the club to an 11th straight top-flight title last term, but the former Chelsea boss has failed to live up to expectations this season, and will leave at the end of the campaign.

    Xabi Alonso rebuffed Bayern's interest to stay at Bayer Leverkusen, and it remains to be seen who the Bundesliga giants will go for as Tuchel's replacement.

    Nagelsmann is preparing to lead Germany at Euro 2024, which they will host from June 14, and former international Ramelow cannot see him being enticed back to his old club.

    "Quite honestly, it's hard for me to imagine that," Ramelow told Stats Perform when asked about Nagelsmann reuniting with Bayern. 

    "I would be surprised. First, he was sacked at Bayern, then he got the chance to coach Germany and now he should return. 

    "I think he will stay as Germany head coach. I also think that Bayern has different ideas, so let's be surprised by what they do over the next months."

    Nagelsmann oversaw back-to-back friendly victories over France and Netherlands as Germany impressed in the March internationals.

    Meanwhile, Tuchel's Bayern are almost out of the running for the Bundesliga title but will hope to reach the Champions League semi-final when Arsenal return to Germany for their finely poised last-eight tie.

    Ramelow acknowledged that Bayern remain an attractive proposition for any coach, however.

    "I mean everything is possible, sure," he added. "But I think that Nagelsmann has his own ideas and you don't take over as a national team's head coach only for a few months.

    "Even though Bayern always has its attraction. But he coached them already and they had their reasons to sack him, so, I would be surprised."

    Germany start their Euro 2024 campaign against Scotland at Allianz Arena on June 14, after friendlies against Ukraine and Greece to warm up for the tournament.

  • Rangers title hopes suffer blow after historic defeat to Ross County Rangers title hopes suffer blow after historic defeat to Ross County

    Ross County delivered a body blow to Rangers’ cinch Premiership title hopes in Dingwall with their first win in their history over the Ibrox side.

    When Staggies skipper Jack Baldwin scored an own goal after 15 minutes it already looked a long way back for the home side but two goals in three minutes soon after the break from Simon Murray and George Harmon turned the game on its head before Josh Sims added a third after 69 minutes.

    Gers skipper James Tavernier netted a penalty in the 89th minute following VAR intervention but the spirited home side held on for a momentous 3-2 win which also boosts their bid to avoid relegation.

    After 20 defeats and four draws in 24 games against Rangers, the Dingwall club had at last registered a long-awaited win over the Govan club and its ramifications affect both ends of the table as second-bottom County moved to within a point of 10th-placed St Johnstone.

    With six fixtures remaining Philippe Clement’s side are four points behind leaders Celtic with a game in hand against Dundee at Dens Park on Wednesday night but it is the Hoops who now look to be in command.

    Once again Rangers, with Borna Barisic, Kieran Dowell, Todd Cantwell and Abdallah Sima back in the side, found themselves under the pressure of trying to reduce the gap behind their Old Firm rivals.

    Ross Laidlaw, Yan Dhanda, Sims, Victor Loturi and  Harmon were restored to Don Cowie’s side who started the game nine points ahead of bottom side Livingston.

    County had the first attempt on goal within minutes when Michee Efete’s cross from the right found Harmon at the back post but under pressure from Sima he scoped the ball over the bar.

    Rangers struggled to get into their rhythm but they were gifted the lead following Tavernier’s corner from the right.

    Portuguese attacker Silva headed on and in his attempt to clear while facing his own net and challenging Gers defender John Souttar, Baldwin succeeded only in knocking the ball over the line as Laidlaw failed to keep it out although it took a while before the goal registered with the travelling fans at the other end of the ground.

    The game opened up further and Laidlaw saved a decent shot from Cantwell before Gers keeper Jack Baldwin kept out a low drive from Sims with Laidlaw saving further efforts from Sima and striker Cyriel Dessers.

    In the 38th minute, amid a spell of County pressing, Harmon lifted a shot high over the bar from close range as did Dessers at the other end before the break.

    The game took an unexpected twist at the start of the second half when energetic County striker Murray levelled at the second attempt, driving in after Butland had blocked his first shot with his foot.

    Rangers were still coming to terms with that setback when Murray found himself with space again before unleashing a drive which Butland spilled but Harmon was on hand to drive into the net.

    The Govan side shook themselves and Dessers and Sima had efforts of varying quality before Sima used his hand to knock the ball into the County net with the ‘goal’ ruled out.

    The home side ran up the pitch moments later and scored a third, Murray breaking into the box and setting up Sims to show composure before beating Butland from close range

    Cantwell struck the bar with a terrific effort six minutes later and then VAR Andrew Dallas flagged up a possible handball from County substitute Brandon Khela inside the box and referee Matthew MacDermid awarded a penalty after a monitor check which Tavernier converted, but there was to be no comeback.

    Rangers slipped up against the most unlikeliest of opponents and it may prove fatal.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.