Ahmed Musa

AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

Nigeria beats Iceland; Argentina still alive

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Ahmed Musa scored a pair of terrific goals as Nigeria set up Group D for a thrilling final day with a 2-0 win over Iceland in Volgograd on Friday.

Gylfi Sigurdsson was arguably Iceland’s Man of the Match before he sent a penalty kick over the bar.

Nigeria now has three points, two more than Argentina and Iceland. Nigeria plays Argentina and Croatia faces Iceland on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Gylfi Sigurdsson swung a dangerous early free kick over the bar, then produced the game’s second chance. That one was caught by Francis Uzoho, the 19-year-old Deportivo de la Coruna backstop.

Nigeria’s breakthrough came courtesy a lethal counter attack, as Kenneth Omeruo headed a cross clear of the Eagles’ 18. Kelechi Iheanacho collected and found Victor Moses racing down the right flank.

Moses’ cross was collected by Musa with an unorthodox outside of the boot trap, allowing him a second against his surprised mark. Musa lashed home for 1-0.

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The game was delayed for a bit when Ragnar Sigurdsson was waylaid with a head injury.

Wilfred Ndidi had a rip deflected over the bar in the 57th, and Nigeria opted for a short corner.

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Musa then basically put it to bed when he cut into the 18 and danced around two defenders with the goalkeeper in between before putting a composed finish into the goal.

Iceland got new life through an 81st minute penalty kick awarded via Video Assistant Referee, but Gylfi Sigurdsson blazed it over the bar.

Leicester City 3-1 Crystal Palace: Foxes look the part in win

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  • Musa, Okazaki break slumps
  • Fuchs scores gorgeous goal
  • Foxes first win in four
  • Palace winless in three

Leicester City’s Champions League form is carrying into the Premier League, as Claudio Ranieri‘s Foxes controlled proceedings in a X-X win over Crystal Palace on Saturday at King Power Stadium.

Ahmed Musa scored his first Leicester City goal, while Shinji Okazaki added his first tally in 14 PL matches to help salt it away. Unlikely goal scorer Christian Fuchs celebrated his new contract with a terrific left-footed shot in the 80th minute.

Yohan Cabaye scored for Palace.

Leicester joins 11th place Palace on 11 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The first half was certainly in Leicester City’s wheelhouse, albeit without traditional finish.

Islam Slimani in particular seemed a touch off, but the Foxes’ man played a big role in the opener.

Slimani’s lay-off found Musa, who ripped the ball through traffic and to the left of Steve Mandanda to make it 1-0.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Leicester seemed best prepared to score the next goal, and Danny Drinkwater had a shot deflected wide around the hour mark.

The goal came through Okazaki, who darted onto a blocked cross and blasted a shot by Mandanda inside the near post from 15 yards.

Cabaye was a lively player for Palace, and Kasper Schmeichel denied his point blank chance in the 74th minute. The ensuing corner saw Danny Simpson clear Christian Benteke‘s header off the line.

Fuchs then tore into a left-footed volley from just outside the 18 for a goal of the weekend contender.

Schmeichel blocked a partial Benteke breakaway in the 83rd minute, and Cabaye redirected Wilfried Zaha‘s cross to dirty Leicester’s clean sheet. That was the only goal of a furious fightback from Palace.

Report: Leicester City agree record fee for Ahmed Musa

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Premier League champions Leicester City look set to smash their transfer record as  a deal has been agreed with CSKA Moscow to sign Ahmed Musa, according to his agent.

Speaking to BBC Sport about Musa, 23, his agent, Tony Harris, confirmed that everything is in place for the Nigerian striker to arrive at the King Power Stadium.

[ MORE: Smalling falls ill on vacation ]

Musa has scored 54 goals in 168 games for CSKA since arriving in the Russian Premier League in 2012.

It is believe Musa will have his medical on Wednesday and club manager Leonid Slutsky has also confirmed he will be moving to England.

Leicester’s current transfer record is the $11.9 million they paid for Croatian striker Andrej Kramaric.

The Foxes have been linked with Musa for some time now and it was widely reported he would arrive in January but the deal was delayed.

Now Claudio Ranieri will add yet another pacey striker and Musa is also capable of playing on the wing. A player with experience of playing in the UEFA Champions League, he will be a key addition to the Foxes as they battle to replicate their stunning title-winning season, plus make a splash in the UCL during the 2016-17 campaign.

With Jamie Vardy signing a new contract, plus the likes of Shinji Okazaki and Leonardo Ulloa around, Ranieri will have plenty of attacking options as he will likely rotate his team due to increased demands of European soccer at the KP next season.

Ranieri has already signed central defender Luis Hernandez, striker Raul Uche, goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler and midfielder Nampalys Mendy this summer to strengthen his squad considerably. However, the nature of these signings are very similar to the likes of N'Golo Kante, Okazaki and Christian Fuchs who arrived last summer. No star names but steady, hardworking professionals.

For those of you who haven’t seen Musa in action, he’s a player that’s very similar to Liverpool’s Sadio Mane. He can play centrally or out wide and his searing pace should slot in perfectly with Leicester’s fast counter attacks which proved devastating last season.

African Footballer of the Year shortlist: Yaya Toure goes for four in a row, MLS player makes it

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Yaya Toure is looking to become the first player to win four-straight African Footballer of the Year awards, as the Manchester City star has been named as one of 25 players on the CAF shortlist.

The Ivory Coast leader held off John Obi Mikel, Didier Drogba and Seydou Keita from 2011-13, and will have to beat a host of players from big name clubs if he wants to join Samuel Eto’o as the only players to have won the award four times.

FIFA reports that South Africa’s Senzo Meyiwa, murdered last month, is on the list of players who can win the award given to those who play solely on the continent.

Crystal Palace has the list, as it announced its Democratic Republic of Congo winger, Yannick Bolasie, is on the list along with AS Roma’s Gervinho, Swansea City’s Wilfried Bony and Tottenham Hotspur’s Emmanuel Adebayor.

[ RELATED: Both sides of Manchester in injury trouble ]

There’s an MLS player in the mix as well, as Philadelphia Union goalkeeper and Algerian World Cup hero Rais M’Bohli made the list.

Toure is the clear favorite to win the award, though Algeria’s strong World Cup could give a boost to one of its four members on the list: Islam Slimani (Sporting Lisbon), Yacine Brahimi (Porto), Keita (AS Roma) and M’Bohli.

The winner will be announced on Jan. 8, 2015. Here’s the list in full:

2014 African Footballer of the Year shortlist
Ahmed Musa – (Nigeria, CSKA Moscow)
Asamoah Gyan – (Ghana, Al Ain)
Dame N’doye – (Senegal, Lokomotiv Moscow)
Emmanuel Adebayor – (Togo, Tottenham)
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – (Cameroon, Schalke 04)
Fakhreddine Ben Youssef – (Tunisia, CS Sfaxien)
Ferdjani Sassi – (Tunisia, CS Sfaxien)
Gervinho – (Cote d’Ivoire, AS Roma)
Islam Slimani – (Algeria, Sporting Lisbon)
Kwadwo Asamoah – (Ghana, Juventus)
source: Getty Images
M’Bohli

Mehdi Benatia – (Morocco, Bayern Munich)

Mohamed El Neny – (Egypt, Basel)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – (Gabon, Borussia Dortmund)
Raïs M’Bolhi – (Algeria, Philadelphia Union)
Sadio Mané – (Senegal, Southampton)
Seydou Kieta –  (Mali, As Roma)
Sofiane Feghouli – (Algeria, Valencia)
Stephane Mbia – (Cameroon,  Sevilla)
Thulani Serero – (South Africa, Ajax)
Vincent Aboubakar – (Cameroon, Porto)
Vincent Enyeama – (Nigeria, Lille)
Wilfried Bony –  (Cote d’Ivoire, Swansea)
Yacine Brahimi – (Algeria, Porto)

Yannick Bolasie – (DR Congo, Crystal Palace)
Yaya Toure – (Cote d’Ivoire, Man City)

CSKA Moscow 2-2 Manchester City: Citizens blow 2-0 lead, Champions League hopes in ruin

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Manchester City’s UEFA Champions League hopes hang in the balance as the Citizens threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with CSKA Moscow in Russia.

[RELATED: Pellegrini upbeat]

City raced into a 2-0 lead in the first half as goals from Sergio Aguero and James Milner set Manuel Pellegrini’s men on their way. However, CSKA came roaring back in the final 25 minutes as Seydou Doumbia scored with the Russian sides first shot on target to make it 2-1. Then CSKA drew level with five minutes left as Aleksandar Kolarov clipped Doumbia and Bebras Natcho made it 2-2 from the spot.

[RELATED: Champions League news]

Late on CSKA pushed for the win, as City failed to beat the Russian champions who had previously lost their last six-straight UCL matches. With three games left in Group E, City are still without a win and have just two points on the board as AS Roma and Bayern Munich remain the favorites to advance.

[RELATED: Champions League standings]

In an eerily quite Khimki Arena in Moscow (fans were banned from attendance after UEFA sanctions against CSKA for racism and violence), the home side started brightly as Ahmed Musa and Zoran Tosic smashed shots just wide on a snowy night in the Russian capital. However the reigning Premier League champs soon got into their stride.

Aguero (who else!?) got City off and running as the red-hot Argentine forward pounced to finish after a lovely ball from David Silva teed up Edin Dzeko, who feed Aguero for the tap in. 1-0 to the Citizens, as Aguero had his eighth goal in his last five games.

That goal got City going as Dzeko forced  Igor Akinfeev into a superb stop moments later, then Milner doubled the English champions’ lead after Aguero’s shot fell into his path. Seconds later Milner almost had another but his effort, after Aleksandar Kolarov and Dzeko both came close and had penalty shots waved away, cannoned off the post and out.

After the break the Citizens took their foot of the gas as CSKA went close through Tosic and Bebras Natcho. But soon the small number of people inside the Khimki (who were supposed to be sponsors and UEFA officials) were celebrating as Natcho crossed for Doumbia to tap home and set up a nervous finish for City.

[RELATED: Champions League schedule]

Pellegrini responded by bringing on Fernandinho and Jesus Navas to help secure the win, but City failed to hold on for a vital three points after Nacho’s late penalty kick. The Citizens now host CSKA at the Etihad Stadium on Nov. 5 and anything but a win would all but seal their exit from Europe’s elite club competition.

LINEUPS

CSKA: Akinfeev, Fernandes, V. Berezutski (Doumbia, 46′) Ignashevich, Shchennikov, A. Berezutski, Natcho, Tosic (Efremov, 69′), Eremenko, Milanov, Musa

Goals: Doumbia (64′), Nacho (86′)

Manchester City: Hart, Kolarov, Mangala, Kompany, Zabaleta, Fernando (Jovetic, 86′), Toure, Milner, Silva (Fernandinho, 78′), Dzeko (Navas, 72′), Aguero.

Goals: Aguero (29′), Milner (38′)