Benin took advantage of John Boye's red card to secure a 2-2 Africa Cup of Nations draw against Ghana at the Ismailia Stadium on Tuesday.

Mickael Pote had handed Benin a surprise lead after just 103 seconds, but Kwesi Appiah's side hit back through goals from Andre and Jordan Ayew before the interval.

Boye was dismissed after a controversial second booking in the 54th minute for apparent time-wasting, giving Benin the impetus to secure a point nine minutes later through Pote's second of the game.

Ghana face Cameroon in Group F on Saturday, while Benin face Guinea-Bissau on the same day.

Benin started in stunning fashion, taking the lead inside two minutes when Pote latched onto Cebio Soukou's throughball, cut inside Lumor Agbenyenu and poked past Richard Ofori.

Their joy was short-lived, however, as Andre Ayew unleashed a powerful drive inside Fabien Farnolle's left-hand post in the ninth minute to draw Ghana level.

Despite Benin looking more threatening in attack, it was Ghana who struck again before the interval. Kasim Adams found Jordan Ayew and the forward thundered a right-footed strike into the roof of Farnolle's net in the 42nd minute.

Yet any hope Ghana had of a routine second half were blown apart nine minutes after the restart when Boye received a yellow card from referee Youssef Essrayri after stepping over a free-kick to leave it for goalkeeper Ofori to take.

Benin took full advantage of their numerical superiority shortly after the hour when Pote flicked home Jodel Dossou's low cross from the left.

Only a superb save from Farnolle prevented Thomas Partey's 25-yard free-kick finding the back of the net, forcing Ghana to settle for a point from their opening outing at the tournament.

Everton have signed Andre Gomes from Barcelona in a £22million deal following a successful season on loan.

Gomes, also linked with Premier League rivals Tottenham and West Ham, has signed a five-year contract at Goodison Park.

The Portugal midfielder appeared 29 times for Everton in all competitions last season after joining on a deadline-day loan in August 2018.

"I'm really happy to sign the contract with Everton - it wasn’t hard to decide, it was an easy decision and I’m very happy to have made it," Gomes told his new side's official website.

"I know the club made a massive effort to sign me and I'm very happy and thankful to them. I said during the year that I felt part of a family and that is the most important thing to me.

"Last year was a really good experience for me. I just wanted to feel part of something special and I found it here. It was good for me in that moment and right now, after signing for Everton, it's even better.

"I think the ambition here is not only for me, I think it's for all the players, the fans and the club. We are all excited for that."

Valencia appeared to confirm the arrival of Jasper Cillessen from Barcelona on Tuesday, meanwhile, in a deal that is expected to see fellow goalkeeper Neto head to Camp Nou.

The Copa del Rey winners, who beat Barca in the final, posted a video on social media seemingly showing Netherlands international Cillessen collecting a pair of orange clogs bearing the Valencia badge.

Barcelona's clear out continued with Marc Cardona being given the green light to join Osasuna in a deal worth €2.5m.

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr called for "serenity and harmony" among his players as they face Guinea amid talks with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) over unpaid allowances and bonuses.

Winger Ahmed Musa did not appear as scheduled for the Super Eagles' pre-match news conference ahead of their Group B match following reports the squad did not receive a bonus payment for the 1-0 victory over Burundi.

Rohr confirmed that Musa missed the media appearance to meet with the NFF but said he hoped the situation would be resolved quickly to allow them to focus on their Africa Cup of Nations campaign, which continues against Guinea on Wednesday.

"My player [Musa] couldn't attend the press conference today because they have a very important meeting," said Rohr.

"I just hope the situation can be resolved so we can focus on what we have in front of us, and that the situation around the team will be a good one with the serenity and harmony that we need."

Odion Ighalo came on as a substitute against Burundi and scored within four minutes of his introduction to settle a tight match at Alexandria Stadium.

Guinea started their campaign with a 2-2 draw against Madagascar, and Rohr said the prospect of clinching qualification for the next round with a second successive victory would motivate his players.

"I think that we are ready because the players are coming back and becoming fit now, and Guinea have the pressure because they have to win this match," said Rohr.

"I think that this match is the most difficult in our group when you see the players they have playing in such big teams like Liverpool, Napoli, Bordeaux. A lot of them have been educated in France with the French football philosophy.

"But we are in a positive situation because we are top of the group with three points we want to stay on the top of the group.

"If we win we are sure to be qualified already and this is a big motivation for our players."

Guinea defender Issiaga Sylla, who plays his club football for Toulouse, indicated his side would go for broke to get the result they need to keep their campaign alive.

"We don't have anything to lose," he told reporters. "We'll play with all our strength against Nigeria. It's going to be difficult but we'll do everything we can.

"We have a lot of players that can make the difference."


Nigeria - John Obi Mikel

Substituted after just under an hour against Burundi, Mikel admitted his side struggled to break down their opponents and will be keen to make amends against Guinea.

Guinea - Sory Kaba

Forward Kaba has scored in Guinea's last two games, including netting in the 34th minute of the draw with Madagascar, and will be a marked man against Nigeria.


- Nigeria and Guinea’s only previous AFCON encounter came in March 1976 in the group stages (1-1).
- Guinea are unbeaten in their last four meetings against Nigeria in all competitions (W3 D1), after winning none of their previous eight games against the Super Eagles (D4 L4).
- Nigeria have won their last five games in the tournament, their longest streak ever in their history, never conceding more than one goal in each of their five encounters.
- Guinea are winless in their last six games in the Africa Cup of Nations (D5 L1), their last success in the competition coming back in January 2012 against Botswana (6-1).

Cameroon kicked off their Africa Cup of Nations title defence with a 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau in Tuesday's Group F clash.

The 2017 winners were made to work hard for their victory in Ismailia, as both goals arrived in a three-minute period in the final half-an-hour of the match.

Yaya Banana broke inexperienced Guinea-Bissau's resolve with a header in the 66th minute and substitute Stephane Bahoken made a swift impact by adding a second.

Guinea-Bissau, competing in the finals for just a second time, struggled to create much over the 90 minutes and relied on Jonas Mendes to keep them on level terms until Cameroon eventually made the breakthrough.

Christian Bassogog fired over with the angle against him from the best of the Indomitable Lions' first-half chances and Mendes got down to his right to push aside Joyskim Dawa's header from the next big opening 29 minutes later.

It looked like it was going to be a frustrating day when Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was the next to be thwarted by Mendes with his curling effort from outside the box early in the second half, but Banana found a way through just past the hour.

Karl Toko Ekambi sent in the corner and Banana's downward header beat Mendes and covering defender Rudinilson Silva on the line.

And it did not take long for the second goal to arrive, as a headed clearance in the box ricocheted off Sory Mane and fell nicely for Bahoken to sweep home from six yards.

Guinea-Bissau almost pulled one back 18 minutes from time, only for Piqueti Silva's header to hit the frame of the goal.

After earning its first-ever CONCACAF Gold Cup win, Curacao has its sights set on adding to its story as it faces Jamaica for a spot in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at Banc of California Stadium.

Curacao controls its destiny and needs only a win to assure itself a spot in the next round. A draw would have its players hoping for a Honduras win in the second match of the evening.

Not wanting to depend on outside results, Head Coach Remko Bicentini knows what his players must accomplish.

“We must win, we must score a goal. We cannot, the whole game, play in defence,” said the Curacao Manager in a pre-match press conference.

“We must score one more goal than Jamaica and we are through to the next round.”

Bicentini counts on a squad with 18 of his 23-man roster based in European leagues at the club level – the most of any squad in this year’s Gold Cup.

Forward Elson Hooi is one of eleven players who practice their club careers in the Netherlands. He scored his first two international goals against Jamaica in the 2017 Caribbean Cup final.

“For myself, the national team is more important than my own team so it means a lot,” said Hooi in Monday’s presser. “Our players are very happy. We worked so hard for this. Now we just stay together and work hard to win the third game.”

The two teams also met in Curacao’s first Gold Cup appearance two years ago, a tournament Bicentini continuously points to as a learning experience.

On Tuesday, the two Caribbean nations meet once more with high stakes on the line.

“The whole team from Jamaica is very powerful,” said Bicentini. “We learned from our first Gold Cup in 2017 and that was our preparation for this tournament.”

Manchester City and Portugal star Bernardo Silva will win the Ballon d'Or when Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo begin to show signs of decline or retire, according to former Selecao star Paulo Futre.

Silva featured in 51 matches for City in their treble-winning campaign of 2018-19 and was voted City's Player of the Season by supporters.

And after also helping Portugal to Nations League glory earlier this month, the 24-year-old has been tipped by Futre to become the next leading star in world football after Messi and Ronaldo – aged 32 and 34, respectively.

Futre, who earned 41 caps for Portugal and represented the likes of Porto, Atletico Madrid and AC Milan at club level, told Omnisport: "I think Bernardo will be the next star, or he will be when Ronaldo and Messi start to decline.

"I think Bernardo will be one of those who will be ready to win the Ballon d'Or, because he is a player with a lot of responsibility in a great team like Manchester City.

"He will continue to grow and in two or three years, when Messi and Cristiano retire, I think he can be one of the big favourites to win the Ballon d'Or."

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric ended the decade-long reign of Messi and Ronaldo by winning the Ballon d'Or for the first time last December.

Manchester United must bring in fresh faces before sanctioning sales for players including Paul Pogba, former defender Gary Neville has urged.

Pogba, who returned to United from Juventus three years ago, has sparked transfer speculation by saying he feels it is a "good time to have a new challenge somewhere else".

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juve have all been linked with the France midfielder, with United reportedly rejecting a swap deal involving Neymar proposed by Paris Saint-Germain.

Neville, though, feels Pogba should be allowed to leave if the World Cup winner has decided he wants to move on, but only if replacements are secured first.

"They don't have to keep any player," Neville wrote in a Sky Sports column.

"Manchester United are a better team when Paul Pogba plays but if players don't want to be at the club – that doesn't mean Pogba, he may want to be at the club – you have to get everybody onside and aligned with where you're going.

"Ultimately, that's the first thing Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] had to do – to work out who was going to be ready for the club moving forward. I'm still unsure on many players.

"I see the speculation... and it looks like it could be moving all the time. You've got to get players in before you let them go because being armed with the money makes you vulnerable.

"For United, it's all about timing and manipulating and manoeuvring to a point where they know they're going to get players in before letting some go. Otherwise they'll become very easy to target in terms of people bumping the money up, which I'm sure they are already."

Daniel James is the only signing made by United since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho, leading to criticism of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who handles transfer business.

United were reportedly keen to bring in the club's first sporting director but, although no appointment has been made, Neville defended the lack of new arrivals at Old Trafford.

"It's difficult to do business, it's not easy," added Neville, who won eight Premier League titles with the Red Devils. "Everyone knows Manchester United want players and price tags will go up. You've got to try and encourage players to come to the club.

"Players don't just jump to sign for any club – they do their homework and get their agents to get to work. They probably have 50 meetings before they sign for a club nowadays. Manchester United will be in the pit with the rest of the sharks looking for the big signings.

"It's difficult for all clubs they all want the same players. They all want Harry Maguire, every single club wants him. Everybody wants Christian Eriksen.

"Players that are being bandied about, there are four or five clubs in for them. They aren't just going to sign for the first club, they'll choose wisely and look at the different aspects.

"Manchester United have got a big job to do in order to get a squad right for a championship challenge. Hopefully that'll start this summer but it's not just bringing players in, it's about getting some out."

 Jamaica Head coach Theodore Whitmore is focused on one goal heading into Tuesday night’s match against Curacao at Banc of California Stadium - advancing to the knockout stage.

“If you look at the group, three teams have a chance to qualify for the next round,” Whitmore emphasized in Monday’s pre-match press conference. “It’s neither here nor there whether we win the group or are runner-up, the most important thing, right now, is to get out of the group.”

A win against Curacao will assure Jamaica advances to the knockout stage, but its place in the group could still depend on the result of the preceding match between Honduras and El Salvador.

“We can’t look on the Honduras-El Salvador game going forward, this is a must-win or at least for Jamaica get a point out of the game so we expect Curacao to come with everything at us,” said Whitmore.

“Well, no doubt about it, Curacao have quality in their team,” added the former Jamaican national team player. “We have a game to play tomorrow, we have a tough team to play against. We just have to go out there and put our best foot forward.”

Whitmore described his team’s attitude as positive and upbeat ahead of the pivotal clash. He also praised his players for the work done up until this point.

Leon Bailey and Michael Hector were brought up as injury concerns and are under watch for the upcoming match.

When asked about the upward progress of Concacaf teams, Whitmore pointed to the evolution of the region and why his team must not be overconfident with Curacao.

“Everybody has to be in tip-top shape,” said Whitmore. “We can’t take anything for granted, we can’t take anybody for granted because everybody’s evolved.”

Uganda captain Denis Onyango feels it will be an advantage for him to know so many of Zimbabwe's squad as they also play their club football in South Africa.

The Cranes beat Democratic Republic of Congo 2-0 in their Group A opener to sit level on points with Egypt at the top of the Africa Cup of Nations section.

Another positive result against Zimbabwe on Wednesday would go a long way to sealing qualification for the knockout rounds for the first time since 1978. 

But Onyango, who plays for South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns, insisted his side's full focus is on facing familiar foes Zimbabwe despite a looming clash with hosts Egypt.

"We are playing against a very good team and to be honest I know 90 per cent of their players and they are very good, as we saw them against Egypt [a 1-0 loss]," he told reporters.

"Our target is to go through and we just think of the next game. We want to get maximum points and fight very hard to get the result we need.

"We are not thinking of the Egypt game because we are playing Zimbabwe now. We don't want to overlook that because we are taking the match very seriously so as to enter our last game knowing our fate.

"Zimbabwe have some very good players that I know very well and that's good for us."

Despite being in danger of suffering an early exit, Zimbabwe coach Sunday Chidzambwa says his side still hold out hope of qualifying against the odds.

"We play against Uganda, who are a very good side," he told a news conference. "They defeated DR Congo and I think we have to fight hard for the entire game and I just hope we will be at our best to get a good result that will revive our qualification hopes.

"Against Egypt we didn't have many chances, but we will try to do better this time. We lost against the home team and I think we had a good game.

"I told the players to forget about this match and start to correct our mistakes. We are not here to add numbers but we came to compete."


Uganda – Farouk Miya

Not only has Miya been involved in Uganda’s last three goals in the Africa Cup of Nations - scoring one and providing two assists - he netted the winner in a 1-0 triumph over Ivory Coast in a pre-tournament friendly.

Zimbabwe – Knowledge Musona

On the books of Anderlecht, Musona is one of the few Zimbabwe players with experience of playing in a top European league. He is the leading scorer in the AFCON squad named by Chidzambwa and offers his side's best chance of getting off the mark in Egypt.


- It will be the first game between Uganda and Zimbabwe in the Africa Cup of Nations.
- Uganda have won just two of their 15 games against Zimbabwe in all competitions (D8 L5).
- They have also won only four of their last nine games in the Africa Cup of Nations (D1 L4), after winning none of their first 11 in the competition (D1 L10).
- Zimbabwe have won only two of their 10 games in the competition (D1 L7), failing to keep a clean sheet in any of these 10 games.

Roma have appointed Gianluca Petrachi as their new sporting director after reaching an agreement with Serie A rivals Torino.

Petrachi has signed a three-year deal to succeed Frederic Massara, who filled the role following Monchi's exit in March.

The 50-year-old will officially begin his new role with Roma on July 1 and is fully aware of the task at hand.

"Coming to Roma is an exciting and stimulating opportunity for me," Petrachi told his new club's official website.

"Roma are an ambitious and incredibly stimulating adventure for me. I know well the expectations of such an important club. That’s why I immediately accepted this challenge."

Petrachi's appointment comes two weeks after Paulo Fonseca was unveiled as the club's new head coach.

"I am pleased to be able to welcome Gianluca to our team," chief executive Guido Fienga said.

"With his skills, I am sure he will be an important asset within the club’s management structure."

Roma finished sixth in Serie A last season, three points behind fourth-placed Inter.

French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet has welcomed Kylian Mbappe's interest in playing at the Olympic Games.

France sealed qualification for next year's tournament in Tokyo by reaching the semi-finals of the ongoing European Under-21 Championship.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe was fast-tracked to the senior squad and never played for his country's under-21 team.

But after France clinched their spot he signalled he hopes to feature at the Olympics with a message on social media that simply read: "TOKYO 2020."

During a tour of Japan, Mbappe also outlined his international aims, having already won the World Cup last year in Russia.

"I still have to win the European Championship with France but I'd also like to play at the Olympics," he said.

"Why not go next year to the Games? I've always said it's a dream of mine. But it's not only up to me."

Mbappe's availability poses a question for the FFF given he played no part in the team's qualification for the Games.

But Le Graet indicated Mbappe may be considered despite the Olympics following on after Euro 2020.

"It's nice that Kylian can declare that," Le Graet said to Le Parisien. "It shows that he is interested in all teams in France, and especially in the Olympics. Once again, it's nice.

"I will first meet and ask the question to [France Under-21 coach] Sylvain Ripoll. The decision will belong to him.

"Let's focus on our team that has just managed a lot of tough matches and qualify for the semi-finals. I prefer for the moment that we talk about them."

A national team can select three over-age players for the Olympics, but Le Graet ruled out World Cup winners such as Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann being selected.

"No, it's not realistic," he added. "Those who have earned this qualification deserve to be there. We can have different teams, but for Tokyo, it would surprise me."

Tanguy Ndombele is planning to leave Lyon but will only be available for a transfer if "substantial" offers are received, according to club president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Aulas made it clear no deal has been done to take Ndombele away from Lyon and indicated a preference to keep him, though he acknowledged "the biggest European clubs" are pursuing the midfielder.

Tuesday's arrival of Brazilian youngster Jean Lucas from Flamengo stoked speculation surrounding Ndombele, with Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain understood to be among those keen on signing the 22-year-old.

During Jean Lucas' presentation news conference, Aulas provided an update on Ndombele's future and even highlighted Lille's Thiago Mendes as a potential replacement for the midfielder who has emerged as one of Ligue 1's top players during his two seasons at Lyon.

"We would need substantial proposals so that we can move forward with Tanguy [his plans], who is eventually interested in leaving," said Aulas.

"But if he were to leave, which is not the case today, we would have to make signings, which is what Juninho [Pernambucano, sporting director] has asked for in any case.

"For the moment there is nothing done, but the door may be ajar thanks to Jean Lucas, who has just arrived.

"He [Ndombele] is a pragmatic boy, meaning that he didn't say, 'I'm leaving tomorrow, for sure'. He has been in demand from big clubs.

"When the biggest European clubs are knocking at your door, you have to listen.

"There is no deadline. At the moment, Thiago Mendes is one of the players who are of interest to our recruitment team."


Vincent Kompany has targeted silverware in his first season with Anderlecht, but acknowledged he has "everything to prove" as he embarks on his first coaching job.

The centre-back left Manchester City at the end of last season following a trophy-laden 11-year spell to take up a player-manager position with the Belgian club.

And Kompany, who won the Premier League on four occasions with City, is out to make a big impact on his return to boyhood club Anderlecht.

"The idea of ​​becoming a player-manager has grown gradually," he said at his presentation on Tuesday. "The chance was too big for me not to go in and I think this was the right time to make this decision. 

"Returning only as a player was not an option, but as a player-manager. 

"I have everything to prove. As a manager, I have not yet proved anything, but I am confident that this story can and will succeed.

"I want to be a champion with Anderlecht. Let that be clear – I didn't come here to be second. I can't and won't say that.

"I can start something incredible here. People who know me a little know well enough that I would not start something like this without a plan."

Anderlecht finished sixth in the Belgian First Division last season, but Kompany is confident of bridging the gap, while at the same time promoting some younger players.

"There are huge talents around here and I am looking forward to working with them," said the 33-year-old, who started his career with the Brussels-based club before joining Hamburg in 2006.

"There are more talents at Anderlecht today than when I started. Much more. We finished sixth last year, so we have to get better than five other teams in one season. But my opinion is that with a few changes we can get there. I'm convinced of that.

"If Anderlecht had become champions last year, or even second, then this story would not have happened. Or months of negotiation would have preceded. There is no better time to jump in than now. No one would have been open to a change in mentality.

"I understand that there is a lot of work, but I am really looking forward to starting. I have learned a lot in recent years and I now have the opportunity to make my mark here. I am proud that I have that opportunity."

Kompany also revealed he informed City boss Pep Guardiola of his decision to leave on the eve of their 6-0 win over Watford in the FA Cup final.

City legend Kompany picked up plenty of tips from Guardiola during their three years working together, but he is not interested in succeeding the Catalan in the Etihad Stadium dugout – instead tipping current assistant Mikel Arteta for the top job when it becomes available.

"I believe I told Guardiola the day before the FA Cup final that it would be my last game at City," he said. "I wanted to thank him for everything he taught me. The farewell was emotional.

"Working with Guardiola was as if I was suddenly in college. He explains everything in such a clear way and I learned a lot from him. I am not yet a Guardiola, let that be clear. But I think I am a good student.

"Let City be City under Pep, which is an awesome club. I think they will win the Champions League eventually, soon hopefully, and behind Pep there is Mikel Arteta who has a lot of knowledge, who is probably the right man to look at. 

"I will just build my career and be as driven as Pep has been or the best managers have been that I know. Will I be as good? We’ll see."

Kashima Antlers survived a late fightback from 10-man Sanfrecce Hiroshima to clinch a place in the last eight of the AFC Champions League on away goals despite losing 3-2 on the night.

Go Oiwa's men went into the second leg of their round of 16 tie leading 1-0 and extended their advantage when Shoma Doi sent a sweetly struck shot into the net from the edge of the penalty area after 33 minutes.

Hiroshima steadied themselves and set about clawing their way back into contention, pulling a goal back after 66 minutes when substitute Patric beat Kwoun Sun-tae with a header that took a wicked deflection off Antlers defender Tomoya Inukai.

Sun-tae made a good save to deny Patric six minutes later but Hiroshima defender Sho Sasaki was on hand to sweep the ball home to make it 2-2 on aggregate and set up a tense finish.

The hosts were dealt a blow two minutes later, though, as goalkeeper Hirotsugu Nakabayashi was sent-off for bringing down Shoma Doi, who scored with a long-range strike on the counter-attack in the 89th minute to render Patric's late penalty nothing more than a consolation for Hiroshima.

There was more drama at Jinan Olympic Sports Center, where Guangzhou Evergrande needed extra-time and penalties to settle a 4-4 aggregate draw against Shandong Luneng.

The visitors arrived with a 2-1 lead in the tie and their nerves were settled when Paulinho put them 1-0 up on the night with simple tap-in after 13 minutes.

Shandong squandered numerous chances to respond before Zhou Haibin rose to head home a corner at the far post in the 62nd minute, and eight minutes later Marouane Fellaini scored to take the match into extra-time.

The hosts thought they had won it when Liu Junshuai got on the end of Gil's headed cross and rolled the ball home, but Paulinho levelled matters again with a deadly free-kick.

Both sides scored their first five penalties in the shootout, but Cui Peng's attempt was saved before Zhong Yihao lashed Guangzhou's sixth spot kick into the bottom left corner of the net to send his side through to the quarter-finals.

Luigi Di Biagio claims he did a "great job" as coach of Italy's Under-21 side despite their failure to reach the European Under-21 Championship semi-finals.

Italy beat Spain and Belgium but a 1-0 defeat to Poland in their second match of the tournament cost them a place in the last four.

Di Biagio, who briefly led Italy's senior side last year, insisted developing young players for Roberto Mancini's squad was a higher priority than success at the U21 Euros.

"We must separate the results of these years from what happened at this tournament," he said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"I would say that a great job has been done. We have made many players grow, we have been competitive with many strong teams, many boys have gone to the senior national team.

"Then there are painful notes because the result is not positive, but it is not a failure for myself. I will no longer be the coach of the U21s."

Di Biagio claimed he rejected offers from Serie A clubs to remain with the Under-21 side, but said he is now open to approaches.

"I'm on the market. Serie A and Serie B clubs have been looking for me, but out of respect for the Italian Football Federation [FIGC], I have always said no," he added.

"Thanks to the growth of these years I feel ready for new challenges. I would have left anyway. I do not feel stimulated enough anymore."

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