SSFL Annual Awards: Hislop named SSL Ambassador

By George Davis and Lance Whittaker February 01, 2019

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  • De Rossi deal 99 per cent done, claim Boca De Rossi deal 99 per cent done, claim Boca

    Boca Juniors president Daniel Angelici believes a deal for former Roma icon Daniele de Rossi is all but sealed.

    Sporting director Nicolas Burdisso spoke last month of his desire to see De Rossi join Boca after the World Cup winner left boyhood club Roma.

    And despite reports the Italian would instead retire, links to the Argentine giants have persisted.

    Angelici now hopes a move is close, claiming negotiations are 99 per cent of the way.

    "The negotiations for De Rossi are well under way," he told TyC Sports. "In the coming days, he will fly to Buenos Aires.

    "It is 99 per cent that Daniele will be a Boca player.

    "To have a world champion say he wants to finish his career here fills me with pride. It is good for Argentine football to have a player like this."

    De Rossi would likely replace Uruguay star Nahitan Nandez, who is a reported target for Cagliari.

  • Belmadi hails 'extraordinary, historic' Algeria victory Belmadi hails 'extraordinary, historic' Algeria victory

    Djamel Belmadi revelled in Algeria's "extraordinary, historic" Africa Cup of Nations final victory over Senegal.

    Algeria became champions of Africa on foreign soil for the first time - adding to their 1990 success as hosts - thanks to Baghdad Bounedjah's decisive, deflected second-minute strike.

    Belmadi believes his side deserved their triumph but deflected praise onto his players.

    "It's extraordinary. It's historic," he told beIN Sports. "This is the first Cup of Nations we have won outside our borders.

    "Since 1990, it has been a long, empty passage. We are a football country. We deserve it, I think.

    "It was a very complicated match, very difficult. We knew that it was going to be decided on a small detail. And the boys held on.

    "With the tournament we had, with better attack and better defence, what more? But without the players, I am nothing.

    "We tend to forget that they are the main protagonists. They are the ones who play, who apply the instructions. They did it wonderfully - if not better."

  • Senegal 0 Algeria 1: Deflected early Bounedjah goal enough for AFCON glory Senegal 0 Algeria 1: Deflected early Bounedjah goal enough for AFCON glory

    Algeria became Africa Cup of Nations champions for a second time as they edged Senegal 1-0 in a scrappy final on Friday.

    Djamel Belmadi's side needed a sensational last-gasp Riyad Mahrez winner to beat Nigeria in the last four, but it was a scrappy early strike that decided this clash as Baghdad Bounedjah benefited from a huge deflection.

    Further chances were few and far between in an ill-tempered affair as Algeria withstood almost constant pressure and also saw a Senegal penalty award overturned with VAR.

    The single goal ultimately proved enough to hold on, Algeria triumphing on foreign soil for the first time to add to their 1990 success as hosts.

    Algeria's fortuitous opener arrived inside two minutes. Bounedjah cut inside from the left and saw a powerful strike loop up off the lunging Salif Sane, dropping over static goalkeeper Alfred Gomis into the top-right corner.

    Senegal responded well, getting into dangerous positions and winning countless free-kicks, mainly through Sadio Mane, but their final ball was repeatedly found wanting.

    Frustrations threatened to boil over late in the first half, with Mane escaping punishment for an off-the-ball shove on Sofiane Feghouli, although M'Baye Niang went close with a fizzing long-range drive.

    The two sides came together to confront the referee at the break - Senegal bemoaning a non-penalty award for Ismaila Sarr - and Algeria substitute goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja went down claiming contact in the ensuing fracas.

    And Senegal were further infuriated on the hour mark when a spot-kick initially awarded as Adlene Guedioura blocked Sarr's cross with his arm was struck off following a VAR review.

    Niang rounded Rais M'bolhi but could only blaze high and wide, before the goalkeeper turned Youssouf Sabaly's blast over the crossbar.

    Aliou Cisse's side kept pushing, yet there was no way through and Algeria clung to a scarcely deserved victory.

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