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Lewis Hamilton Wins Saudi Arabian Grand Prix



Lewis Hamilton Wins Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton kept his hopes of an eighth world championship title alive with a thrilling victory in a dramatic and at times chaotic Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Sunday. The result left the seven-time champion level on 369.5 points with title rival Max Verstappen ahead of the final race in Abu Dhabi next weekend. Hamilton was behind Verstappen for much of the 50-lap race which was stopped twice because of crashes and interrupted numerous times by the safety car and virtual safety car.

But Hamilton, nursing a damaged front wing caused by a collision with Verstappen, came through late, to claim his eighth win of the season and the 103rd of his career.

The title will be settled in Abu Dhabi, although if neither finishes in the points it will be Verstappen, who has nine victories, who will take the title.

“I have been racing a long time but that was incredibly tough,” said Hamilton who gained an extra point for the fastest lap.

Verstappen finished second, 11.825secs behind in spite of being given a five-second penalty after colliding with the Mercedes star.

He was later sanctioned by 10 seconds by the stewards although that did not impact his finishing position.

“Just trying to race and this sport is more about penalties than racing,” said Verstappen.

“For me this is not Formula 1, but at least the fans enjoyed it and I gave it all today, but clearly not quick enough.”

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas pipped Alpine’s Esteban Ocon on the line for third place to give Mercedes a 28-point lead in the constructors’ championship.

It was the first time that Jeddah had hosted a Grand Prix and the problems that the drivers, including Verstappen, had had in practice and qualifying were apparent again.

READ ALSO: Ronaldo Sends Message To Manchester United New Manager

It was also the first Grand Prix since the death last month of Frank Williams and was played out against a backdrop of concerns about Saudi Arabia ‘sportswashing’ their human rights record.

For once Mercedes made the perfect start. Having locked out the front row, they succeeded in holding Verstappen at bay.

The safety car made its first appearance on lap 10 when Mick Schumacher spun on Turn 22 and slammed his Haas into the wall.

Hamilton pitted immediately to switch tyres with Bottas following a lap later while Verstappen stayed out to take the race lead.

Red Bull’s gamble looked to have paid off when the race was red-flagged shortly after in order for repairs to be done on the crash barriers.

That handed Verstappen a ‘free’ pitstop and allowed him to begin from the front when the race restarted, ahead of Hamilton and Bottas.

When the race resumed, Hamilton slipped past Verstappen who then barged his way around the outside, going off the track, to regain the advantage.

Behind them Sergio Perez was clipped by Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari, causing the Red Bull to spin off.

That in turn triggered a domino effect with George Russell (Williams) and Nikita Mazepin (Haas) also going off.

The stewards decided that Verstappen’s manouevre was illegal and promoted Alpine’s Ocon to pole for the third start of the race, with Hamilton in second and Verstappen in third.

It was the Dutchman who was quickest out of the blocks, blasting past the other two on the opening corner and setting the world championship title in his sights.

READ ALSO: Manchester United Interim Manager Ralf Rangnick Gets Work Permit

On lap 36 he attempted to overtake but in a move evocative of their tussle in Brazil, Verstappen cut across Hamilton to keep the lead.

Verstappen was ordered to give the place back but as he braked Hamilton ran into the back of him damaging his front wing.

When the Dutchman was again instructed to make way, he pulled over to let Hamilton pass and then immediately retook the lead.

A lap later Hamilton slipped past again to move back in front and this time, with Verstappen also hit by the five-second penalty, he was able to lead all the way to the chequered flag.


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Eguavoen Reveals Why He Accepted Super Eagles’ Job




Former Super Eagles interim coach, Augustine Eguavoen has given reasons why he accepted the offer of leading the Eagles after Gernot Rohr was relieved of his job.

Rohr guided the Eagles to the 2018 world cup in Russia and was sacked after five years in charge of the Nigeria national team, weeks before the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations kicked off in Cameroon.

Eguavoen, who many have called on to fully take on as the Super Eagles Coach after his performance at the first round of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon while speaking with BBC Sport Africa, said as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) technical director, he had to step in before a permanent boss is hired.

READ ALSO: AFCON 2021: Tunisia Coach Reveals How His Players Tamed Eagles

“Our former coach was relieved of his duties and it was just weeks before the Africa Cup of Nations.

“As technical director, anywhere in the world that is what is obtainable. If there is a vacancy, it is the technical director that steps in before the coach has been appointed.

“So that’s why you see me taking this role as an interim man,” he said.

The NFF announced Jose Peseiro as the next head coach of the Eagles before AFCON 2021, while Eguavoen stepped aside after they were eliminated by Tunisia on Sunday.


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AFCON 2021: Tunisia Coach Reveals How His Players Tamed Eagles




Tunisia coach, Mondher Kebaier has opened up on how his boys stopped Nigeria from progressing to the quarter-finals in the ongoing 2021 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon, following their impressive performance against Super Eagles

Nigeria was tagged favourite to lift the trophy after their amazing performance in the group stage as they recorded 9 points after 3 games

Msakni netted the only goal of the game as the North Africans were a lone goal victor

During a post-match conference, the coach confirmed that they worked on the Nigeria wingers because they knew how dangerous they could be.

READ ALSO: Tunisian Coach, 12 Players To Miss Clash With Super Eagles

“Today we came up with tactics to put pressure on the Nigerian wingers because they are very dangerous. And we also know they have difficulties when they lose the ball,” he said.

Tunisia will now play against Burkina Faso in the quarter-final as Super Eagles return home.


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AFCON 2021: COVID-19-ravaged Tunisian Team Sends Super Eagles Home



AFCON 2021: COVID-19 Ravaged Tunisian Team Sends Super Eagles Home

Nigerian Super Eagles are  out of the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) after suffering a shocking 1-0 defeat to COVID-19-ravaged Tunisian team on Sunday.

The Super Eagles had qualified as the only team with a maximum of nine points from the group stage, beating all teams in Group D. However, the Eagles couldn’t make it beyond the round of 16.

Both teams went into the first-half break without goals. Until Youssef Msakni delivers the single killer goal that sent the Super Eagles out of the competition few minutes into the second half.

READ ALSO: Charges Super Eagles To Win AFCON Title

Alex Iwobi was shown the red card at the 66th minute, depleting the Eagles as Tunisia cruised into the quarter-final of the tournament

This comes a few hours after President Muhammadu Buhari called the Super Eagles, charging them to defeat their opponent.


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