Wednesday 22 November 2017

Sport in brief

Celtic captain Darren O'Dea was relieved after skippering his side to a 1-0 victory against Hamilton.

After losing to Hibernian last time out, the Hoops made heavy work of beating Hamilton with a second-half goal from new signing Morten Rasmussen.

And O'Dea demanded another win in Tuesday's visit to Kilmarnock. "It was one we needed after the bad result we had in the last game," O'Dea said. "We need to kick on to Tuesday and win again. We were hanging on a little bit and that's maybe through the lack of confidence we've had recently."

Celtic boss Tony Mowbray was pleased with the close-range debut goal from Rasmussen. "We knew chances would come and thankfully the new boy turned and stuck one in the bottom corner."

Meanwhile, Steven Davis grabbed a goal of his own and set up the other two as Rangers restored their 10-point lead at the summit of the SPL with a 3-0 win over Falkirk. He set the ball rolling at Ibrox with his second goal in four days, before teeing up strikes for both John Fleck and Steven Whittaker.

Welbeck hurts Keane's Town

Roy Keane's relegation fears were reawakened after second-half goals from Preston duo Neill Collins and Danny Welbeck condemned Ipswich to a dismal defeat.

Substitute Collins had only been on the pitch five minutes when he rose highest to greet Richard Chaplow's right-wing cross with a firm header in the 64th minute.

And on-loan Manchester United striker Welbeck showcased his undoubted class with a delightful chip over goalkeeper Arran Lee-Barrett with six minutes remaining.

The result allowed Preston boss Darren Ferguson to get one over his former Red Devils team-mate Keane as the hosts chalked up their second successive win.

And earlier, Rob Hulse scored as Derby brought an end to Nottingham Forest's unbeaten streak.

O'Hara weighs up his options

Portsmouth loan recruit Jamie O'Hara admits he may have to seek a permanent move away from Tottenham in the summer if his first-team chances remain limited at White Hart Lane.

The midfielder has returned to the Fratton Park outfit for the rest of the season after the club's transfer embargo was lifted earlier in the week.

O'Hara has played a vital role in Avram Grant's bid to keep the south coast strugglers in the Premier League.

He returned to Spurs while he was waiting for his future to be resolved, but admits he is still on the fringes of the first team at the club. "The long-term is something I'm going to have to sit down and talk about at the end of the season," he said.

"I went back to Tottenham and wasn't really involved, so maybe I have to move on. We'll see what happens at the end of the season but they're a massive club and they're always going to be involved in big signings."

Togo hit with huge penalty

Togo have been banned from the next two African Nations Cups following their withdrawal from this year's competition after two members of their delegation were killed in an ambush, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said yesterday.

"The players publicly expressed their willingness to return to the Nations Cup to compete. But the Togo government decided to call back their national team," the CAF said in a statement.

"The decision by political authorities contravenes CAF and African Nations Cup regulations. The executive committee therefore has banned Togo from the next two African Nations Cups and fined the Togo FA $50,000."

Hassan ready for Ghana test

Defending champions Egypt will be bidding for their seventh title and third on the trot when they take on Ghana in the final of the African Cup of Nations in Luanda today.

They will now be heavy favourites against a Ghanaian team missing a number of their regular players, most notably Michael Essien.

But Egypt may be hampered by injuries to key players after Wael Gomaa and Emad Moteab both picked up knocks in the semi-final.

Ghana are sweating heavily over the fitness of goalkeeper Richard Kingson, who has a groin problem.

He doubtful along with Agyeman Opoku and Hans Sarpei, both of whom were substituted in the game against their west African rivals Nigeria in the semis.

"We won the last two competitions and have again excelled here. We should return home with the trophy now and we will do our best to achieve that aim," said Egyptian midfielder, Ahmed Hassan.

Ghana v Egypt

BBC2, 4.0

Sunday Independent

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