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Nigerian striker nets hat-trick in Arsenal’s 3-1 win

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Folarin Balogun grabbed a hat-trick, as Arsenal came from a goal down, to beat Blackburn Rovers 3-1 in their Premier League 2 Division 1 opener at the Lancashire FA HQ on Monday evening.

Tolaji Bola, James Olayinka and Balogun started the game for the young Gunners.

Fit-again central defender Joseph Olowu replaced Rob Holding 17 minutes into the second half.

Arsenal made it 1-1 before the break, when Balogun slotted home the rebound after a penalty he won was saved by goalkeeper Joe Hilton.

With seven minutes left on the clock, the Nigerian striker won another penalty for his side and this time he didn’t make any mistake to give the Gunners a 2-1 lead.

The 18-year-old went home with the match ball, after netting the third with almost the last kick of the game.

Balogun has now scored four hat-tricks for Arsenal youth teams in the U18 Premier League and Premier League 2 since the start of the 2018/2019 season.

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AfroBasket: D’Tigress to face Mali in final

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Nigeria’s senior national women’s basketball team, D’Tigress, have qualified for the final of the ongoing 2019 AfroBasket Women’s championship in Dakar, Senegal.

D’Tigress, defending champions of the competition, defeated their Malian counterpart 79-58 on Friday to advance to the final as they strive to retain the trophy they won in 2017.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the team won the semis against Mali.

Nigeria’s Ezinne Kalu was the star player with 19 points, while Mali’s Meiya Riders had 14 points.

D’Tigress had earlier thrashed DR Congo 79-46 in the quarter-finals, demolished Cameroon 106-39 and crushed Tunisia 75-26 in the group stage.

The championship, which began on August 10 will end on Sunday.

Nigeria will now face winner of the Senegal versus Mozambique match in the final on Sunday.

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Crime

Pirates abduct three Russian sailors in Cameroon

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Three Russian crew members of a cargo ship have been abducted by pirates near the port of Douala in southern Cameroon, the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday said.

The cargo ship “Marmalaita” belonging to the Danish company, Ultrabulk, carrying the flag of Antigua and Barbuda, was attacked by unknown people on Thursday.

According to the Russian Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroonian authorities and representatives of the ship-owner company are taking steps to clarify the incident, the statement said.

Russian diplomats are actively working with Cameroonian authorities and the ship-owner to facilitate the quick release of the Russian citizens, a report by Xinhua, said.

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Education

Chinese government offers scholarship to 58 Nigerians

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The Chinese Government has awarded scholarships to 58 Nigerians among whom were 16 doctorate degree students, 39 masters’ degree and three undergraduates, according to a report byPUNCH.

The beneficiaries received their university admission notices from the Counselor, Embassy of China in Nigeria, Mr Li Xuda, in Abuja on Friday.

Addressing the awardees during a pre-departure briefing, the Ambassador of China to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjian, encouraged them to work hard in fulfilling their dreams and to observe and learn what brought China to where it is today.

He said, “This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

“In these years, China has always placed education as fundamental to its pursuit of national rejuvenation.

“Every year, hundreds of Nigerian students get scholarships and chase their dreams in China; some of them are sponsored by Chinese companies.

“Last year at the Confucius Institute, University of Lagos, the body of Chinese investors announced the award of scholarships to 63 students of the university to study in Chinese institutions.”

The envoy added that 6,845 Nigerian students were studying in China with 512 covered by Chinese government scholarship.

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