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AFCON quarterfinals, Live: Senegal v. Benin, Nigeria v. South Africa

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The first two quarterfinals take place at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday, as Senegal and Nigeria are heavily favored to win and reach the final four.

[ LIVE: Africa Cup of Nations ]

Sadio Mane’s Senegal face Benin, who shocked Morocco in the Round of 16, while Nigeria take on South Africa who similarly shocked the world as they dumped hosts Egypt out of the competition. Mane has scored three goals so far and along with Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo, Algeria’s Adam Ounas and DR Congo’s Cedric Bakambu they lead the tournament in goals.

If Senegal prevail they will face the winner of Madagascar and Tunisia in Cairo on Sunday, while if Nigeria take care of business they will play either the Ivory Coast or Algeria in a stacked side of the bracket.

Below is the full schedule for the AFCON action on Wednesday, while you can follow all of the action live by clicking on the link above.


2019 Africa Cup of Nations schedule – Wednesday, July 10

Quarterfinals
Senegal v. Benin – 12 p.m. ET
Nigeria v. South Africa – 3 p.m. ET

AFCON: Madagascar in QF as fairytale debut goes on; Algeria joins them

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CAIRO (AP) — Madagascar beat Congo 4-2 in a penalty shootout Sunday to ensure its fairytale debut at the African Cup of Nations continued as it advanced to the quarterfinals.

Congo defender Chancel Mbemba equalized in the last minute of normal time for 2-2 to send the game into extra time, and neither team could break through to avoid the shootout in Alexandria.

Defender Marcel Tisserand sent Congo’s first spot kick well over the bar and Yannick Bolasie also missed when he had to score after Ibrahim Amada, Romain Métanire, Thomas Fontaine and Jérôme Mombris all converted their penalties for Madagascar.

Algeria booked its place in the quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Guinea, which was missing influential midfielder Naby Keïta through injury.

Goals from Youcef Belaïli in the first half, and Riyad Mahrez — with an impressive finish — and Adam Ounas in the second, set up a game against Mali or Ivory Coast on Thursday.

Madagascar’s team, mostly consisting of players plying their trade in the lower leagues in France, had already ensured a dream debut in the tournament after staying unbeaten to finish top of Group B, ahead of former winners Nigeria and Guinea. Madagascar’s 2-0 win over Nigeria was one of the biggest surprises in African Cup history.

Amada got the side off to a flying start against Congo when he let fly from outside the penalty area to send the ball in off the far post in the ninth minute, and captain Faneva Andriatsima set off wild celebrations when he canceled out Cedric Bakambu’s first-half equalizer with a diving header in the 77th, only for Mbemba to keep Congo’s hopes alive.

Cheered on by the Madagascan president, Andry Rajoelina, and around 450 jubilant fans, Andriatsima’s side held its nerve in the shootout to set up a quarterfinal against Ghana or Tunisia on Thursday.

Africa Cup of Nations: Nigeria beats Burundi on late goal

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CAIRO (AP) Odion Ighalo scored a late winner four minutes after coming on as a substitute to see a relieved Nigeria squeeze past tournament debutant Burundi 1-0 at the African Cup of Nations on Saturday.

Nigeria had been warned when the second day of the tournament opened with its first major surprise: Uganda, playing at the Cup of Nations for the first time in 41 years, beat former champion Congo 2-0.

Nigeria ultimately prevailed over the newcomers when Ighalo pounced to bury his chance in Egypt’s second largest city of Alexandria.

The forward slipped in behind the Burundi defense after a backheeled pass by Ola Aina. He opened his body and stroked a right foot shot across the goalkeeper and into the far corner.

Three-time champion Nigeria deserved the win on the second half evidence, but not on the first 45 minutes.

Then, Burundi was the more adventurous team on the biggest day in its soccer history.

Cedric Amissi controlled a long pass superbly but had his shot blocked by Nigeria `keeper Daniel Akpeyi. Akpeyi struggled to keep out a powerful long-range free kick by Gael Bigirimana and Frederic Nsabiyumva hit the crossbar with a header.

“It was a very difficult game,” Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel said. “It was tough. We knew that they are a tough team. They can run and run and run.”

Hasenhuttl masterminds Saints’ survival: Now it gets tough

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Southampton had one win on the board and nine points from their opening 15 games of the season.

They looked certain for relegation. Years of poor decisions in the transfer market had cost them dear. Fans took aim at the new owners and Director of Football Les Reed and Chairman Ralph Krueger (both of whom have left the club this season) for hiring and firing three managers in just over 12 months.

Then Ralph Hasenhuttl arrived for his first taste of English soccer and everything changed. Fans love his enthusiasm on the sidelines and his honesty in interviews created a Jurgen Klopp-esque bond. His first press conference set the tone perfectly. 

The talented but previously unenthused players have ran themselves into the ground and beat the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham, Wolves and Everton at home, results which were unthinkable earlier in the campaign.

Hasenhuttl’s clear vision led to gritty displays which saw Saints secure their status as a Premier League side on Saturday after their 3-3 draw with Bournemouth.

Now the really, really hard work starts if Saints are to return to being contenders for a top 10 finish rather than what they’ve now become, perennial relegation strugglers.

The former RB Leipzig head coach knows it.

“We will have a few players leaving. In every position we will try to get better next year,” Hasenhuttl said. “We had a very interesting last transfer period – no signings, just giving players away. This summer we will rebuild. We can start planning for next year tomorrow. A bit less stress would be nice [next season], sitting relaxed outside and taking the points we need. The target is to get 40 points earlier than this year.”

That planning for next season should start right now at Southampton.

The Austrian coach didn’t spend any money in the January transfer window, his only window since arriving at the club, and it is unlikely he will be able to spend that much this summer.

Saints are hamstrung by having expensive signings on long-term contracts who they can’t get rid of.

Similar to the likes of Aston Villa and Sunderland before them, who kept their heads just above water season after season before finally being relegated, Saints are stuck with a bloated squad who haven’t proved their worth.

Wesley Hoedt, Sofiane Boufal, Cedric and Guido Carrillo are all out on loan right now and are unlikely to return. Manolo Gabbiadini was sold to Sampdoria in January. Fraser Forster is one of their highest earners but hasn’t played since December 2017. Mohamed Elyounoussi has barely featured. The list goes on and on.

Quite simply, Hasenhuttl will have to live with the legacy of Saints getting it wrong in several transfer windows since Ronald Koeman left in the summer of 2016. Since that summer they’ve spent over $200 million in transfer fees alone, and although the sale of Virgil Van Dijk and others negate those fees, players are on very large wages for a club of Southampton’s size which is run to be sustainable. They should be in that group of teams just outside the top six, not battling against the drop.

Something drastic has to change, and Hasenhuttl is now the right man to lead these decisions as he’s rejuvenated many members of the current squad in just five months.

The best thing Saints can now do is let Hasenhuttl have the huge clear out they need. Deadwood needs to be chopped.

Whatever it costs, they need to take the financial hit and let players leave on loan or for good, and let Hasenhuttl start the 2019-20 campaign with a fresh, hungry squad. The way he has brought out the best in Nathan Redmond, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and James Ward-Prowse among others proves his skill in inspiring players he inherited.

Imagine if he could actually add a handful of players he wants…

This season has to be the wake-up call that Saints should have had last season when they survived relegation with one game to go. And that was largely down to Swansea’s slump rather than a good run of their own.

Saints’ academy is one of the best in the league and that is where a lot of their fresh talent can come from. Hasenhuttl has put faith in youth his entire managerial career and that hasn’t changed since he arrived in the Premier League, with Yan Valery, Michael Obafemi, Josh Sims and Ward-Prowse all becoming regulars under him. There are others waiting to break through too.

Hasenhuttl has been brave by cutting out more experienced players and he and Southampton have been rewarded for that.

Now Southampton, who don’t have a chairman or anyone in charge of the football side of the club long-term since Krueger left, must back Hasenhuttl. Krueger brought Hasenhuttl in, but the Austrian is happy to remain at the club and continue to push on, with a new leader or sporting director needed to get things right behind-the-scenes.

Saints can now start to focus on next season and they have Hasenhuttl to thank for that.

“We had to take a lot of points [after taking over in December]. If you told me after our first game against Cardiff, when we were five points behind them [that Southampton would stay up], it’s amazing,” Hasenhuttl said. “We deserve this. We invested a lot in this time and learned a lot. We showed how beautiful we can play. The next step must be to get more clinical in some situations. Two games before the end to be clear is fantastic for us.”

Complete list of January transfer deals in the Premier League

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Who moved, and who didn’t?

[ MORE: Club-by-club grades ]

Here are the hundreds of players on the move into and out of Premier League clubs this month.


Arsenal
In: Denis Suarez (Barcelona) Loan
Out: Emiliano Martinez (Reading) Loan, Emile Smith Rowe (RB Leipzig) Loan

AFC Bournemouth
In: Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) Loan, Chris Mepham (Brentford), Keelan O'Connell (Morton) Loan, Dominic Solanke (Liverpool)
Out: Jermain Defoe (Rangers) Loan, Alex Dobre (Yeovil Town) Loan, Tyrell Hamilton (Salisbury) Loan, Jordan Holmes (St Mirren) Loan, Corey Jordan (Eastbourne Borough) Loan, Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) Loan, Marc Pugh (Hull City) Loan, Aaron Ramsdale (AFC Wimbledon) Loan, Charlie Seaman (Dundee United) Loan, Matt Worthington (Yeovil Town) Free

Brighton & Hove Albion
In: Tudor-Cristian Baluta (Viitorul Constanta), Alexis Mac Allister (Argentinos Juniors), Jan Mlakar (NK Maribor)
Out: Billy Arce (CS Emelec) Loan, Ben Barclay (Notts County) Loan, Aaron Connolly (Luton Town) Loan, George Cox (Northampton Town) Loan, Anders Dreyer (St Mirren) Loan, Josh Kerr (Derry City) Loan, Jordan Maguire-Drew (Leyton Orient), Mathias Normann (FC Rostov), Oliver Norwood (Sheff Utd), Ezequiel Schelotto (Chievo) Loan, Markus Suttner (Fortuna Dusseldorf) Loan, Ben White (Peterborough) Loan, Alexis Mac Allister (Argentinos Juniors) Loan, Stefan Ljubicic (Eastbourne Borough) Loan

Burnley
In: Peter Crouch (Stoke City)
Out: Jimmy Dunne (Sunderland) Loan, Ali Koiki (Swindon Town) Loan, Ntumba Massanka (RWD Molenbeek) Loan, George McMahon (Ashton United) Loan, Conor Mitchell (Linfield) Loan, Sam Vokes (Stoke City)

Cardiff City
In: Leandro Bacuna (Reading), Oumar Niasse (Everton) Loan, Emiliano Sala (Nantes)
Out: Omar Bogle (Portsmouth) Loan, Ciaron Brown (Livingston) Loan, Mark Harris (Port Vale) Loan, Gary Madine (Sheffield United) Loan, Paul McKay (Morecambe) Loan, Anthony Pilkington -Released, Lee Tomlin (Peterborough)

Chelsea
In: Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus) Loan
Out: Lewis Baker (Reading) Loan, Cesc Fabregas (Monaco), Josh Grant (Yeovil Town) Loan, Matt Miazga (Reading) Loan, Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid) Loan, Victor Moses (Fenerbahce) Loan, Lucas Piazon (Chievo) Loan, Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund) Loan, Kasey Palmer (Bristol City) Loan, Charlie Wakefield (Coventry City) Free, Karlo Ziger (Sutton United) Loan, Michy Batshuayi (Crystal Palace) Loan

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Crystal Palace
In: Lucas Perri (Sao Paulo) Loan, Bakary Sako (West Brom), Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea) Loan
Out: Joseph Hungbo (Margate) Loan, Sullay Kaikai (Breda), Nya Kirby (Blackpool) Loan, Jordon Mutch (released), Jason Puncheon (Huddersfield Town) Loan, Alexander Sorloth (KAA Gent) Loan, Oliver Webber (Greenwich Borough) Loan, Jonny Williams (Charlton)

Everton
Out: Beni Baningime (Wigan Athletic) Loan, Callum Connolly (Bolton) Loan, Kieran Dowell (Sheffield Utd) Loan, Antony Evans (Blackpool) Loan, Mason Holgate (West Brom) Loan, Shayne Lavery (Falkirk) Loan, Cuco Martina (Feyenoord) Loan, Oumar Niasse (Cardiff City) Loan

Fulham
In: Havard Nordtveit (Hoffenheim) Loan, Ryan Babel (Besiktas), Lazar Markovic (Liverpool)
Out: Stephen Humphrys (Southend), Stefan Johansen (West Brom) Loan, Aboubakar Kamara (Yeni Malatyaspor) Loan

Huddersfield Town
In: Jaden Brown (Spurs), Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) Loan, Karlan Grant (Charlton Athletic)
Out: Jaden Brown (Exeter City) Loan, Rarmani Edmonds-Green (Brighouse Town) Loan, Rekeil Pyke (Rochdale) Loan, Collin Quaner (Ipswich Town) Loan, Ryan Schofield (Notts County) Loan, Ramadan Sobhi (Al Ahly) Loan, Rajiv Van la Parra (Middlesbrough)

Leicester City
In: Youri Tielemans (AS Monaco) Loan
Out: Yohan Benalouane (Nottingham Forest), Fousseni Diabate (Sivasspor) Loan, Callum Elder (Ipswich) Loan, Vicente Iborra (Villarreal), Darnell Johnson (Hibernian) Loan, Andy King (Derby) Loan, Josh Knight (Peterborough United) Loan

Liverpool
Out: Pedro Chirivella (Extremadura UD) Loan, Nathaniel Clyne (AFC Bournemouth) Loan, Ovie Ejaria (Reading) Loan, Liam Miller (Kilmarnock) Loan, Dominic Solanke (AFC Bournemouth), Lazar Markovic (Fulham)

Manchester City
Out: Brahim Diaz (Real Madrid), Ed Francis (Wolves), Luke Bolton (Wycombe Wanderers) Loan, Rabbi Matondo (Schalke)

Manchester United
Out: Ethan Hamilton (Rochdale) Loan, Joel Pereira (KV Kortrijk) Loan, Regan Poole (Newport) Loan, Ro-Shaun Williams (Shrewsbury Town)

Newcastle United
In: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United), Antonio Barreca (Monaco) Loan
Out: Ronaldo Aarons (Sheff Wed) Loan, Liam Gibson (Accrington) Loan, Achraf Lazaar (Sheff Wed) Loan, Jacob Murphy (West Brom) Loan, Elias Sorensen (Blackpool) Loan, Jamie Sterry (Crewe) Loan, Josef Yarney (Chesterfield)

Miguel Almiron, Newcastle United (Photo credit: nufc.co.uk)

Southampton
Out: Steven Davis (Rangers) Loan, Manolo Gabbiadini (Sampdoria), Wesley Hoedt (Celta Vigo) Loan, Ryan Seager Released, Cedric Soares (Inter Milan) Loan

Tottenham Hotspur
Out: Jaden Brown (Huddersfield Town), Mousa Dembele (Guangzhou R&F), Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (Monaco) Loan, Kazaiah Sterling (Sunderland) Loan

Watford
In: Adam Parkes (Southampton)
Out: Ashley Charles (Barnet) Loan, Michael Folivi (AFC Wimbledon) Loan, Stefano Okaka (Udinese) Loan, Jerome Sinclair (Oxford United) Loan, Ben Wilmot (Udinese) Loan, Randell Williams (Exeter City), Marvin Zeegelaar (Udinese) Loan

West Ham United
In: Samir Nasri (Unattached) Free, Mesaque Dju (Benfica)
Out: Sead Haksabanovic (Norrkoping) Loan, Moses Makasi (Stevenage) Loan, Toni Martinez (Lugo) Loan, Vashon Neufville (Newport) Loan, Reece Oxford (FC Augsburg) Loan, Joe Powell (Northampton) Loan

Wolverhampton Wanderers
In: David Wang (Jumilla B), Ed Francis (Manchester City), Jonny (Pictured, Atletico Madrid)
Out: Benik Afobe (Stoke), Danny Batth (Stoke), Harry Burgoyne (Falkirk) Loan, Ethan Ebanks-Landell (Rochdale) Loan, Bright Enobakhare (Coventry) Loan, Kortney Hause (Aston Villa) Loan, Dominic Iorfa (Sheffield Wednesday), Phil Ofosu-Ayeh (Wurzburger Kickers) Loan, Connor Ronan (FC DAC 1904 Dunajska Streda) Loan, Jack Ruddy (UD San Sebastian) Loan, Ben Stevenson (Colchester United), David Wang (Sporting Lisbon) Loan