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Iwobi Goal Sends Nigeria To 2018 World Cup

Alex Iwobi-BolaEshosBlog

Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi scored as Nigeria beat a stubborn Zambia 1-0 to become the first African side to seal a place at next year’s World Cup in Russia.

The win put them on an unassailable 13 points at the top of Group B.

Chances were missed at both ends by the time Shehu Abdullahi provided the cut-back for Iwobi to finish from inside the box in the 73rd minute.

Odion Ighalo, John Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and Moses Simon went close for the Super Eagles but failed to score.

Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mwenne produced an acrobatic save to deny Wilfred Ndidi in the second half in a pulsating end-to-end encounter.

Portugal Win Sets Up Group Decider With Swiss

Portugal-BolaEshosBlog

Cristiano Ronaldo came off the bench to inspire Portugal to a 2-0 win over Andorra that keeps their hopes of automatic World Cup qualification alive.

With Group B leaders Switzerland beating Hungary 5-2, Portugal needed victory to set up a final-day showdown with the Swiss.

Ronaldo, on at half-time, drove home after the hour, with Andre Silva sealing the points from close range.

Portugal will qualify as group winners if they beat Switzerland on Tuesday.

Switzerland will travel to Portugal with a three-point advantage, but Portugal have a better goal difference.

Hamilton Wins ln Japan As Vettel Retires

Lewis Hamilton-BolaEshosBlog

Lewis Hamilton took a giant stride towards his fourth world title with victory in the Japanese Grand Prix as rival Sebastian Vettel retired early on.

Ferrari’s Vettel dropped out four laps into the race after slipping down the field from the start with an engine problem and Mercedes driver Hamilton now leads the German by 59 points with 100 available in the remaining four races.

The Briton will clinch the title at the next race – the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas – if he wins and Vettel finishes lower than fifth.

Garcia Wins China Open

Caroline Garcia-BolaEshosBlog

France’s Caroline Garcia beat new world number one Simona Halep to win the China Open and overtake Briton Johanna Konta in the race for Singapore.

Unseeded Garcia edged Romanian Halep 6-4 7-6 (7-3) for her second successive title after
victory at the Wuhan Open.

She hit 17 winners and saved nine break points in the second set to move into the eighth and final qualifying spot for the tour finals.

Konta must now reach the final in Moscow to have a chance of overtaking.

Britain’s Konta will play in the Kremlin Cup, which begins on 16 October, but Garcia has put herself in pole position with a hard-fought victory over Halep.

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