From the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos to Tokyo, Japan, the past weekend did spring up many excitements across sports – ones, that would likely take a while before evaporating off the memories of many sports lovers.
With Monday now upon us, and the weekend now, gone, All Baller Zone takes a look at some of these big stories that made gave the weekend some colour.
This is, The Big 5!
5: SEE YOU IN 2024: Paralympics Come To A Colourful End As Nigeria Finishes As Africa’s 4th Best
Performers held letters spelling out “Thank you to all the Paralympians!” as the Tokyo Paralympics officially came to an end on Saturday in a closing ceremony at the Olympic Stadium.
Team Nigeria on her own part, finished in the 33rd position on the medals table. A total number of ten medals were won including four gold, a silver, and five bronze, leaving Nigeria ranked as the fourth-best African team behind Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.
4: THE TWO LIONS: Lingard, Saka Steal The Spotlight As England Win 4-0
England on Sunday cruised to a comfortable 4-0 win over Andorra in their first match at Wembley since Euro 2020 defeat; Jesse Lingard and Bukayo Saka the most standout names on the scoresheet.
Lingard stole most of the show with a brace in both halves – ending his goal drought for his country after nearly three years. For 20-year-old Saka, it was a fine way to cap his birthday – a goal, an assist for Lingard, and a typically bright and breezy performance just 56 days after England’s Euro 2020 penalty shootout defeat.
3: COVID-2021: Brazil Vs Argentina World Cup Qualifier Suspended Over On-Pitch Health Row
An on-pitch row by Brazilian health officials saw the World Cup Qualifier between Brazil and Argentina on Sunday night, suspended.
The officials who marched onto the field shortly after kick-off over a reported flouting of Covid rules by Argentine players Emiliano Martinez, Giovani Lo Celso, and Cristian Romero refused to let the match which was 0-0 at the time, go on. Despite various interventions by Argentina captain Lionel Messi and some match officials which took almost an hour, the referee was forced to call off the game.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo who created a storm following his fairytale return to Manchester United, had fans go berserk after the Red Devils announced that the 36-year-old will wear his iconic No.7 shirt.
According to Fanatics, United’s official retail partner, it only took four hours to smash the record as the highest daily sale on a single sports merchandise site outside North America, and then bettered the best full day of global sales for the club’s online store – a record which toppled Lionel Messi (to PSG), Tom Brady (to Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and LeBron James (to LA Lakers).
1: SENIORMAN KELS: Kelechi Iheanacho Strikes Twice As Super Eagles Defeat Liberia In Lagos
Leicester City’s ‘Fox In The Box’, Kelechi Iheanacho put his name on the scoresheet twice in the first half as Nigeria’s Super Eagles kicked off their World Cup qualifying campaign on a bright note securing a 2-0 win Friday night victory against Liberia at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
The game, dominated by Nigeria saw the side soar to the top of their qualifying group that includes Cape Verde and the Central Africa Republic. For Iheanacho, his 22nd and 45th-minute goals meant he had now hit double figures for Nigeria’s Football Senior Men’s National Team.