Ugly scenes after Ghana reach World Cup at Nigeria's expense, Mane gets better of Salah again

By Sports Desk March 29, 2022

Furious Nigeria supporters stormed the pitch at the National Stadium in Lagos after rivals Ghana sealed a World Cup spot at the expense of the Super Eagles.

Arsenal's Thomas Partey opened the scoring in the 10th minute for Ghana, before William Troost-Ekong levelled from the penalty spot for the hosts midway through the first half.

Nigeria could not find a crucial second goal, however, with Otto Addo's Ghana side holding on for the 1-1 draw, to progress to Qatar 2022 via away goals after a 0-0 draw in the first leg.

The result sparked ugly scenes inside the stadium, with videos on social media showing supporters leaving their seats and smashing equipment at the side of the pitch.

There was heartbreak for Mohamed Salah and Egypt after they suffered another dramatic penalty shoot-out defeat to Senegal.

Hosts Senegan recovered from a 1-0 first-leg deficit to beat Egypt by the same margin at the Abdoulaye Wade Stadium, before Salah, with dozens of laser pens seemingly pointing at his face, fired Egypt's first penalty of the shoot-out over the bar.

Mostafa Mohamed later failed with the visitors' fourth kick, allowing Salah’s Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane to slam his penalty past Mohamed El Shenawy and seal Senegal's progress, in a repeat of February's Africa Cup of Nations final triumph.

"We try our best but today was not enough," he wrote. "To all my players and my staff, [I give] my recognition and humble thank you.

"You will be always in my heart. It was my privilege to work and be helped by such dedicated and capable professionals and wonderful friends."

There was stunning late drama in Bilda as Karl Toko Ekambi scored late in extra time to seal a 2-1 win for visitors Cameroon against Algeria, the Indomitable Lions progressing to Qatar via away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

Algeria thought they had sealed a place at the World Cup when Ahmed Touba cancelled out Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's opener with two minutes remaining in extra time, but there was just enough time left for Ekambi to seal the most dramatic of victories.

Morocco also booked their place in Friday's World Cup draw with an emphatic 4-1 win over Democratic Republic of Congo. A brace from Azzedine Ounahi, as well as goals from Tarik Tissoudali and Achraf Hakimi, sealed a 5-2 aggregate win over DR Congo, who scored a late consolation through Ben Malango.

Meanwhile, a 0-0 draw for Tunisia against Mali was enough to see the former seal their own place in Qatar after they managed a 1-0 win in the first leg.

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    Ratcliffe, 71, is now co-owner of the club he has supported since the age of six after completing the purchase of a 27.7 per cent stake which delegates control of football operations to his company Ineos.

    He set out his ambition to challenge City and Liverpool for domestic and European silverware, using the famous sentiment of United’s great former manager, but called on fans to be patient, insisting it will take two or three seasons at least for Ineos to get the club to where he wants them to be.

    In 2002, Ferguson said his “greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their f*****g perch”, going on to surpass their rivals’ league title tally, while he branded City as the “noisy neighbours” in 2010.

    In the longer term, he is looking to work with the public sector on either building a new £2billion stadium to regenerate the area around the Old Trafford, which he envisages hosting England games and FA Cup finals, or redevelop the existing site at a cost of £1billion.

    “We have a lot to learn from our noisy neighbour and the other neighbour (Liverpool). They are the enemy at the end of the day,” Ratcliffe said.

    “There is nothing I would like better than to knock both of them off their perch. Equally, we are the three great northern clubs who are very close to one another.

    “They have been in a good place for a while and there are things we can learn from both of them. They have sensible organisations, great people within the organisations, a good, driven and elite environment that they work in.

    “I am very respectful of them but they are still the enemy.”

    Asked about the timeframe to make United truly competitive, Ratcliffe added: “It’s not a light switch. It’s not an overnight change – it’s going to take two or three seasons.

    “You have to ask the fans for some patience. I know the world these days likes instant gratification but that’s not the case with football really.

    “It’s not a 10-year plan. The fans would run out of patience if it was a 10-year plan. But it’s certainly a three-year plan to get there.”

    Ratcliffe, whose stake in United will rise to 28.9 per cent by the end of the year by virtue of his investment in club infrastructure, acknowledges that having a modern fit-for-purpose stadium is vital.

    He said the focus will be on either a stadium in the north to rival Wembley as the go-to venue in England for major matches, or to redevelop Old Trafford.

    “There is a really good case to refurbish Old Trafford, probably about £1billion in cost, or something like that,” he said.

    “You finish up with a great stadium, it’s probably an 80 or 90,000-seater. But it’s not perfect because you’re modifying a stadium that is slap bang up against a railway line and all that type of stuff, so it’s not an ideal world. But you finish up with a very good answer.

    “There’s this wider conversation with the community as to whether you could use a more ambitious project on site as a catalyst to regenerate that Old Trafford area. There’s a strong case for using a stadium to regenerate that area, like with the Olympics, like Seb Coe did with that part of East London quite successfully. City have done it and they’ve done quite a good job (of regenerating Eastlands).”

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    “The people in the north pay their taxes like the people in the south pay their taxes,” he said.

    “But where’s the national stadium for football? It’s in the south. Where’s the national stadium for rugby? It’s in the south. Where’s the national stadium for tennis? It’s in the south. Where’s the national concert stadium? It’s the O2, it’s in the south. Where’s the Olympic Village? It’s in the south.

    “All of this talk about levelling up and the Northern Powerhouse… where is the stadium in the north? How many Champions Leagues has the north-west won and how many Champions Leagues has London won? The answer to that is the north-west has won 10 – Liverpool have won more than us – and London has won two.

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    Ratcliffe, 71, is now co-owner of the club he has supported since the age of six after completing the purchase of a 27.7 per cent stake which delegates control of football operations to his company Ineos.

    He set out his ambition to challenge City and Liverpool for domestic and European silverware but called on United fans to be patient, insisting it will take two or three seasons at least for Ineos to get the club to where he wants them to be.

    In the longer term, he is looking to work with the public sector on either building a new £2billion stadium to regenerate the area around the Old Trafford, which he envisages hosting England games and FA Cup finals, or redevelop the existing site at a cost of £1billion.

    “We have a lot to learn from our noisy neighbour and the other neighbour (Liverpool). They are the enemy at the end of the day,” Ratcliffe said.

    “There is nothing I would like better than to knock both of them off their perch. Equally, we are the three great northern clubs who are very close to one another.

    “They have been in a good place for a while and there are things we can learn from both of them. They have sensible organisations, great people within the organisations, a good, driven and elite environment that they work in.

    “I am very respectful of them but they are still the enemy.”

    Asked about the timeframe to make United truly competitive, Ratcliffe added: “It’s not a light switch. It’s not an overnight change – it’s going to take two or three seasons.

    “You have to ask the fans for some patience. I know the world these days likes instant gratification but that’s not the case with football really.

    “It’s not a 10-year plan. The fans would run out of patience if it was a 10-year plan. But it’s certainly a three-year plan to get there.”

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    “We believe that the action taken by ISSA is unfair and inconsistent with ISSA’s own rules and could have negative repercussions on Jamaican athletes seeking similar scholarships to overseas schools,” Hylton's letter stated.

    “We are kindly seeking your intervention and mediation into this matter. We look forward to your positive response," he added.

    Jamaica College, who have won the boys’ title 22 times, placed second at last year’s Championships, behind Kingston College, the winningest school with 34 titles.

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