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2026 WCQ: Ayew Bags Hat-trick As Ghana Edge CAR In Seven-Goal Thriller To Go Top

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Ghana Black Stars edged Central Africa Republic (CAR) 4-3 in Group I, matchday four of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Kumasi on Monday.

Jordan Ayew was the standout performer foe the Black Stars as he bagged a hat-trick. CAR’s Louis Mafouta also netted a hat-trick.

It is now back-to-back wins for the Black Stars and also their third in four games place.

Otto Addo side go top on nine points but could drop if either Madagascar or Comoros win by a big margin on Tuesday.

Ayew opened the scoring for the Black Stars from the penalty spot on six minutes.

But a brace from Louis Mafouta on 11 and 41 minutes put CAR 2-1 ahead before half time.

In the 60th minute Ayew grabbed his second of the game to make it 2-2 while Abdul Fatawu added the third on 62 minutes.

Ayew completed his hat-trick to make it 4-2 but Mafouta scored his third to bring the score to 4-3 on 90 minutes.

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Messi Sets New Copa America Record In Argentina’s Win Vs Canada In Opener

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Lionel Messi created a new Copa America record after helping defending champions Argentina to a 2-0 win against Canada in the opening match of the tournament on Thursday night.
Forwards Julian Alvarez and Lautaro Martinez scored second-half goals to seal the Group A victory.
Alvarez broke the deadlock in the 49th minute with Martinez ensuring victory two minutes from time.

Messi marked his record 35th match in his seventh Copa America tournament, surpassing Chilean goalkeeper Sergio Livingstone’s record of 34 appearances between 1942 and 1953. Messi made his first appearance in the Copa America in the 2007 edition.
Also Messi is the first player to have an assist in seven different Copa Américas

After a challenging first 45 minutes, the breakthrough came when Messi’s pass led Alexis Mac Allister into the box.
The midfielder collided with oncoming Canadian goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, allowing the ball to slip free for Alvarez to end his 13-match international goal drought.
Alvarez’s last goals came during the 2022 World Cup semi-finals against Croatia.
Messi came close to finding the back of the net in the 65th minute but his shot was saved by Crepeau and his rebound effort was headed away by defender Derek Cornelius.

He had another chance in the 80th minute but his shot rolled just wide.
Messi then set up substitute Martinez for Argentina’s second, Serie A’s top goalscorer squeezing his shot under Crepeau.

Chile and Peru, the other teams in Group A, play their opener on Friday in Arlington, Texas.

In the group’s next set of fixtures on Tuesday, Argentina face Chile while Canada take on Peru.

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Nothing Special About Rice –McClean

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Former Premier League star, James McClean has revealed that there is nothing so special about Declan Rice.

McClean, who played with Rice, is not impressed by the ex-West Ham United and current Arsenal star.
Recall that Rice could have played international football for Ireland, but chose to play for England despite representing the Republic at youth level.

However, in a chat with RTE Sport, McClean noted that is very overrated and not a world class player.

“I think Declan Rice is very overrated.

“Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a very good footballer, but the way the English media wax lyrical about him is completely over the top. For me, he’s not world class.

“To me world class is someone who gets in every side in the world. I don’t think he does that. I don’t think he gets in the Man City side ahead of Rodri.

“To me Toni Kroos is world class, He dictates the game, Rodri dictates the game, I don’t think Declan Rice does that. Someone who gets it on the half turn, plays passes forward. He’s very good at what he does.”

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President Federation Cup: Finalists In Women’s Competition To Emerge Sunday

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The two teams that will contest for the women’s trophy in this year’s President Federation Cup will be known by the evening of Sunday, 23rd June, following the semi final matches in Enugu and Awka.
In-form Rivers Angels of Port Harcourt, who are not unfamiliar with triumph in the women’s version of the oldest Cup competition in the land, will confront Delta Queens in Awka, while exciting newcomers Remo Stars Ladies tango with Abuja landladies Naija Ratels at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu. Both matches will kick off at 4pm.

Last year’s runners-up, Rivers Angels unhinged Osun Babes 5-0 in an imperious performance at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu on Wednesday, at the time that Nasarawa Amazons were being eliminated on penalty shootout by Remo Stars Ladies in Benin City.
Naija Ratels also experienced penalty shootout jitters, before they sent FC Robo Queens of Lagos packing at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.

Delta Queens dealt a 2-0 blow on Sunshine Queens from Akure in the earlier match in Benin City, and will go all out against Rivers Angels in Awka on Sunday.
The grand finale of both the men’s and women’s competitions has been scheduled for the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Saturday, 29th June – the first time that the grand finale of Nigeria’s oldest Cup competition will be staged in the city.

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