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Europa League: Arsenal in Tough Spot After Home Draw

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UEFA Europa League quarter-finals return leg will be played on Thursday evening at 8pm live on StarTimes.

Aubameyang’s Arsenal is in a tough spot after their disappointing draw against Slavia Prague at home last week. Manchester United will be much more confident thanks to Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes’ goals that gave the Reds a 2-0 victory.

Of the four home sides in last week’s first leg quarter-final matches of the Europa League, Arsenal achieved the best result.

The Gunners were the only club to avoid defeat in their own stadium, though the Premier League club were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Slavia Prague.

In the first leg, Ivorian winger Nicolas Pépé gave Arsenal a late lead – five minutes from the end.

But just when Mikel Arteta’s side seemed to be able to take a one-goal advantage into Thursday’s away leg, Czech international defender Tomáš Holeš found an equalizer five minutes into injury time.

Slavia though will be wary of Arsenal’s away form in the competition, as the London side has yet to lose an away game in the Europa League this season.

They have won four of the six matches they have played away from home and drawn the other two.

The two other quarter-finals see La Liga club Villarreal take on Dinamo Zagreb in Spain with a 1-0 lead from the away leg, while Roma defend a 2-1 lead at home against Ajax Amsterdam.

Since being re-launched as the Europa League in 2009, the competition has grown in stature and regularly grabs its share of footballing headlines. With clubs like Arsenal and United involved, the world will be watching this week’s return legs in the quarter-finals.

African football fans will have a chance to watch the games live and exclusively on the StarTimes channels as Africa’s leading digital-TV operator broadcasts all the action from the exciting Europa League.

And two months from now, StarTimes is going to broadcast all matches of the long-awaited UEFA Euro 2020 live and in HD.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Eni Aluko Breaks Barriers: First Black Female Football Club Owner in Italy

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Eni Aluko

Eni Aluko, former sports director for Aston Villa and Angel City, has shattered the glass ceiling by becoming the first black female football club owner in Italy.

Aluko’s journey from the pitch to the boardroom marks a monumental shift in the traditionally male-dominated realm of football ownership.

Aluko’s foray into ownership comes through her involvement with the Mercury 13 group, a consortium dedicated to revolutionizing women’s football.

This $100 million investment group, named after the 13 female pilots who passed the same rigorous testing as NASA’s original Mercury 7 astronauts, aims to elevate the status of women’s football teams across Latin America and Europe.

Their recent acquisition of a majority stake in FC Como Women, situated in northern Italy, underscores their commitment to this vision.

For Aluko, this milestone isn’t just about personal achievement; it’s about paving the way for future generations of black sports investors and female football enthusiasts.

“Representation matters,” Aluko emphasized in a recent interview. “As the first, I understand the significance of this moment. But more importantly, I see it as an opportunity to inspire others and to promote diversity and inclusivity in the beautiful game.”

Aluko’s transition from player to owner is a testament to her unwavering dedication to football.

Having retired from professional play, she has seamlessly transitioned into roles in sports broadcasting and now ownership, leveraging her extensive experience and expertise to drive meaningful change within the industry.

The significance of Aluko’s ownership stake extends far beyond the confines of FC Como Women. It serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for marginalized communities within football, signaling that barriers can be broken and dreams can be realized regardless of race or gender.

The Mercury 13 group’s investment in FC Como Women is poised to catalyze a new era for the club and women’s football in Italy as a whole.

With Aluko at the helm, there is an undeniable sense of optimism and momentum surrounding the future of the team and the broader movement for equality within the sport.

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Joshua Dominates Ngannou with Second-Round Knockout in Saudi Arabia Showdown

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Nigerian British boxer Anthony Joshua showcased his prowess by delivering a second-round knockout against UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

The thrilling encounter unfolded with Joshua demonstrating his technical skill and power, overwhelming Ngannou with his calculated strikes.

From the outset, Joshua asserted his dominance, landing a formidable right hand in the opening round that set the tone for the match.

Despite Ngannou’s resilience, Joshua continued to press forward, maintaining control of the bout.

As the second round commenced, Joshua unleashed another powerful right hand that visibly rocked Ngannou.

Despite his efforts, Ngannou found himself on the canvas once more, unable to withstand Joshua’s onslaught.

The referee swiftly called an end to the contest, declaring Joshua the victor by knockout.

The electrifying showdown left fans in awe as Joshua’s precision and strength proved too much for Ngannou to handle.

Although Ngannou required medical attention post-fight, Joshua’s display of sportsmanship and skill highlighted his status as a formidable force in the world of boxing.

The victory solidifies Joshua’s position as a top heavyweight contender and sets the stage for future thrilling matchups in the world of combat sports.

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South Africa Clinches Africa Cup of Nations Bronze in Penalty Drama Against DR Congo

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In a riveting encounter at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) third-place playoff, South Africa emerged victorious against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) in a nail-biting penalty shootout to secure the bronze medal in the prestigious tournament.

The match, which ended in a goalless draw after regulation time, saw South African goalkeeper Ronwen Williams once again emerge as the hero, making crucial saves during the penalty shootout to propel his team to victory.

The DR Congo team displayed commendable resilience throughout the match, creating numerous goal-scoring opportunities and maintaining an attacking threat against the South African defense.

Ultimately, it was South Africa’s Siyanda Xulu who converted the decisive penalty kick, securing the win for Bafana Bafana.

The victory marked South Africa’s perfect record in third-place playoffs, having clinched a similar victory 24 years prior against Tunisia.

The bronze medal victory serves as a testament to South Africa’s resilience and determination in the face of formidable opposition.

As the tournament concludes, the thrilling encounter between South Africa and DR Congo will be remembered as a highlight of the 2024 AFCON edition, showcasing the passion and skill of African football on a grand stage.

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