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Messi Struggles But Argentina Cruise To Win Over Venezuela

Messi struggles but Argentina cruise to win over Venezuela

Argentina maintained their unbeaten start to their World Cup qualifying campaign, cruising to a 3-1 victory at 10-man Venezuela on Thursday night.

In his first match for his country since moving to Paris Saint-Germain, Lionel Messi struggled to stamp his authority on the match in Caracas, but it mattered little.

Lautaro Martinez opened the scoring in first half injury time after Venezuela had been reduced to 10 men by Adrian Martinez’s red card for a reckless challenge on Messi.

Argentina did not impress but the extra man told in the final quarter when substitutes Joaquin Correa and Angel Correa broke through.

Venezuela did not go home empty handed, though, as Yeferson Soteldo scored a cheeky “Panenka” penalty deep into injury time at the end of the game.

Ahead of leaders Brazil’s trip to Chile, Argentina are three points off the top of the single CONMEBOL qualifying group.

The two South American giants meet in Sao Paulo on Sunday.

Argentina had been marginally the better side early on, hitting the bar through Rodrigo de Paul’s long range strike on 13 minutes.

But the match turned decisively in the visitors’ favor on the half hour as Adrian Martinez, who was an early substitute and had been on the field for less than five minutes, lunged in rashly on Messi.

The referee brandished a yellow card but following a VAR review that was upgraded to a straight red card for the ugly studs up challenge.

The match turned into attack versus defense and Argentina secured the crucial breakthrough in first half injury time.

As the pressure mounted, Giovani Lo Celso slipped in a perfectly timed pass for Lautaro Martinez to slot into the bottom corner.

Argentina labored after the break against a packed defense but substitute Joaquin Correa finally put the match to bed 20 minutes from time with a fierce low strike from just inside the area after good work from Messi and Lautaro Martinez.

Three minutes later, Lautaro Martinez’s snapshot was stopped by Venezuela goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez but Angel Correa mopped up the rebound.

Messi was given a great chance to get his name on the scoresheet five minutes from time but shot too close to Farinez.

Substitute Alejandro Gomez then stood on Soteldo’s foot in the penalty area, allowing the diminutive playmaker to salvage some Venezuelan pride from the spot.

Ecuador left it late to cement their hold on third place in the standings before beating Paraguay 2-0 in Quito.

Felix Torres opened the scoring two minutes from time with a header and Michael Estrada’s individual effort sealed the victory five minutes into time added on.

Fernando Saucedo equalized seven minutes from time for Bolivia in a 1-1 draw in La Paz after Roger Martinez’s opener for Colombia on 69 minutes following a mazy run.

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News

Supreme Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Adeleke’s Candidacy

The Supreme Court has affirmed Ademola Adeleke as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the just concluded Osun State Governorship Election.

This has laid to rest the suit filed by Dotun Babayemi, a governorship aspirant of the party who sought the invalidation of Adeleke’s victory.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Amina Augie, the five-member panel held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit after counsel for the appellant, Adebayo Adelodun, withdrew the earlier notice of appeal that was filed within time.

At the resumed hearing, Adelodun, who represented the appellant and Babayemi informed the court that he sought to withdraw the earlier notice of appeal to replace it with the fresh application he filed.

But the panel held that Section 285(11) of the constitution stipulated that an appeal on a pre-election matter must be filed within 14 days from the day of the decision, and that having filed the second appeal out of time, the apex court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Justice Augie, therefore, dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Babayemi had asked the court to invalidate the primary election that produced the governor-elect, citing non-compliance with a court order.

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400 Staff To Lose Jobs As BBC Goes Digital

The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC world service has on Thursday disclosed that about 400 of its staff will lose their jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme and move to digital platforms,

The BBC said its international services needed to make savings of £28.5 million ($31 million) as part of wider reductions of £500 million.

In July it detailed plans to merge BBC World News television and its domestic UK equivalent into a single channel to launch in April next year.

BBC World Service currently operates in 40 languages around the world with a weekly audience of some 364 million people.

But the corporation said audience habits were changing and more people were accessing news online, which along with a freeze on BBC funding and increased operating costs meant a move to “digital-first” made financial sense.

BBC World Service director Liliane Landor said there was a “compelling case” for expanding digital services, as audiences had more than doubled since 2018.

“The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing,” she added.

 

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Environment

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian made landfall at around 15:10 local time (19:10 GMT) on Wednesday, smashing into the coast with wind speeds of up to 241km/h (150mph).

Dramatic scenes saw a hospital roof blown off, cars submerged and trees ripped out of the ground.

The category four hurricane was later downgraded to a tropical storm.

However, Floridians were warned that the most dangerous 24 hours lay ahead and the mayor of Tampa urged people to shelter in place through the night into Thursday morning.

“We are going to get the majority of the rain and the higher winds starting about 20:00, and they are going to last throughout the night,” Jane Castor said during a Wednesday evening briefing.

In a message posted on Facebook, the Weather Prediction Center told residents in the Central Florida Peninsula to expect “widespread life-threatening, catastrophic flash and urban flooding” continuing into Friday morning, with potentially up to 76cm (30ins) of rain falling locally.

Residents were ordered to leave their homes, but many have decided to remain and seek shelter indoors.

Mark Pritchett, who lives in the city of Venice, some 95km (60 miles) south of Tampa, described the “terrifying” moment he stepped outside his home as the hurricane made its way across the Gulf of Mexico.

“Rain shooting like needles. My street is a river,” he said in a text message to the Associated Press news agency.

In Lee County – the south-west region where Ian made landfall – police were prevented from responding to reports of looting at a petrol station because of the storm damage.

As a result, a curfew has been declared “until further notice”.

Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais said that the Fort Myers community had “been – to some extent – decimated”. According to news agency AFP, some neighbourhoods in the city of 80,000 had been left resembling lakes.

State Governor Ron DeSantis described Ian as the “biggest flood event” south-west Florida had ever seen, and announced that 7,000 National Guard troops are ready to lead rescue operations in flood zones.

President Joe Biden will receive a briefing on Thursday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ian is now continuing to move north through Florida. Jacksonville International Airport, based in north-east Florida, cancelled all flights scheduled for Thursday.

The storm is forecast to emerge into the Atlantic by Thursday morning.

It is expected to reach Georgia and South Carolina on Friday. Virginia has also joined Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida by declaring a state of emergency.

Cuba’s western coast was hit by Hurricane Ian on Tuesday. Power has now been restored in some areas after the island was plunged into a total blackout. Two people are understood to have been killed in Cuba and more than 20 Cuban migrants are believed to be missing at sea.

Predicted path of Hurricane Ian. Updated 27 September

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