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NCBP, Mamba remain unbeaten in league

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AGNES MAKHANDIA

By AGNES MAKHANDIA
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Defending champions National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) and Black Mamba men’s teams won their respective ties against Administration Police and National Youth Service (NYS) to guard their unbeaten run in the Kenya Handball Federation National League matches played at the Kaloleni grounds on Saturday.

NCPB humiliated Police 69-16 in a one sided encounter to move their point tally to 16 points from eight matches, same as third placed Strathmore University.

The Mambas overwhelmed NYS 49-29 to extend their lead on the standings to 22 points from 11 matches.

Morgan Juma (11), Paul Ondari and Innocent Onyango top scored for the Mambas with eight goals each, while Amoan Kipkosgei (12), Lawrence Okoth (6) and Peter Gethige (5) scored high for NYS.

The Mambas, who were without the services of their coach Martin Abunde who is away in India with Roll ball national team, were a better side in all the departments scoring at will through Odari, Juma and Onyango as they took advantage of a sluggish NYS, who took time to settle in the match.

Daniel Irungu then combined well with Odari’s fast breaks upfront as the Mambas took a 27-10 lead as the teams headed for the breather.

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On return, NYS grew in the match and played with gusto with remarkable improvement in attacks and ball distribution, but their efforts were not enough as they trailed their opponents in the rest of the play.

Reached for comment, Mamba captain Nicholas Mikani said they want to improve on last season’s performance where they ranked fourth.

“So far so good. We remain unbeaten and we want to keep up with the pace. We know we are in the early stages of the league and it’s early to call but we are eyeing the title,” said Mikani.

NYS captain Mark Wakweika said, “They were a better side, but we have picked some positives and we hope to improve as the League gathers ground.”

In other match played at the same venue, NYS women’s team played out a 25-25 draw against Kenyatta University.

Claire Wanyonyi (6) and Kate Cherotich (5) emerged top scorers for the students, while Hilda Chebet and Zena Cheruto netted high for the NYS with 11 and 6 goals respectively.

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Lewandowski reaches 30-goal mark in six-goal thriller

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By AFP

BERLIN

Robert Lewandowski scored his 30th league goal of the season on Saturday as Bayern Munich came from behind to claim a 4-2 victory at Bayer Leverkusen and move a step closer to the Bundesliga title.

After Lucas Alario secured an early lead for the home side, Bayern struck twice in quick succession just before half-time to turn the game in their favour after Kingsley Coman’s equaliser.

Lewandowski netted in the second half as Bayern established a 10-point lead over title rivals Borussia Dortmund, who host Hertha Berlin later on Saturday, although Leverkusen teenager Florian Wirtz’s strike late on made him the Bundesliga’s youngest-ever scorer.

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The game also saw Bayern lend their support to protests over the death of black American man George Floyd, with all their players wearing armbands bearing the slogan “Black Lives Matter”.

With their talisman and Bayern transfer target Kai Havertz ruled out with a muscle injury, Leverkusen turned to Alario to lead the line against the champions.

The Argentine delivered after just nine minutes, beating the offside trap after a throw-in to slot the ball past Manuel Neuer.

A mistake from Moussa Diaby allowed Coman to curl in the equaliser, before a fizzing shot from Leon Goretzka and an elegant lob from Serge Gnabry saw Bayern take a two-goal lead before half-time.

Lewandowski finished the job with a well-placed header after the break, equalling his most prolific Bundesliga season, but there was still time for Wirtz to curl in a consolation goal for Leverkusen before the final whistle.

Wirtz set the new record for youngest scorer in the German top flight, aged 17 years and 34 days, beating the record set by Nuri Sahin for Borussia Dortmund in November 2005 by 48 days.

Elsewhere, a late equaliser from Christian Strohdiek gave bottom-of-the-table Paderborn a faint glimmer of hope in the race for survival, as they snatched a 1-1 draw away to RB Leipzig.

LEIPZIG HELD

Chelsea-bound Leipzig striker Timo Werner set up Patrik Schick on 27 minutes to give Leipzig the lead, but they were forced to defend it with 10 men after Dayot Upamecano was booked twice in the first half.

Strohdiek’s last-minute strike gave Paderborn their fourth draw in five games, though Steffen Baumgart’s side remain eight points off Fortuna Duesseldorf who occupy the relegation play-off place.

Duesseldorf themselves missed the chance to move towards safety, as they battled to a dramatic 2-2 draw against 10-man Hoffenheim.

A headed opener from Rouwen Hennings and a red card for Hoffenheim’s Benjamin Huebner put the home side in pole position, but the visitors struck back with goals from Munas Dabbur and Steven Zuber before Hennings saved a point with a late penalty.

Uwe Roesler’s side remain three points adrift of survival, after goals from Moussa Niakhate and Pierre Kunde Malong gave fellow strugglers Mainz a rare 2-0 win over local rivals Eintracht Frankfurt.

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Bayern show support for Black Lives Matter movement

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By AFP

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LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich showed their support for the Black Lives Matter protests on Saturday, following the death of black American man George Floyd last month.

As thousands assembled in Berlin and Munich to demonstrate against police brutality and for racial equality, Bayern became the highest-profile German club to support the protests.

Prior to their clash with Bayer Leverkusen, players warmed up in t-shirts bearing both the Black Lives Matter hashtag and the slogan of the club’s official “Reds Against Racism” campaign.

“FC Bayern stands for a world in which racism, discrimination, hate, injustice and violence have no place. The death of George Floyd and the images from the USA have shocked us all,” said club president Herbert Hainer in a statement.

“It’s a matter of actively and loudly showing our colours. Black Lives Matter and Reds Against Racism. We stand for togetherness that goes far beyond sports.”

During the game, all Bayern players also wore black armbands bearing the words “Black Lives Matter”.

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Stadiums to be split into ‘zones’ as EPL returns

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By AFP

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LONDON

Premier League stadiums will be divided into three zones when the season resumes behind closed doors, West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said Saturday.

The Premier League will resume on June 17 after a three-month absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Clubs met on Thursday to discuss logistics and safety protocols, with Brady saying stadiums would be divided into red, amber and green zones.

“Red zone will be the most severely restricted area, including the pitch, the tunnel, technical areas, changing rooms will be limited to 105 people maximum, to include players, coaching staff, match officials and all the essential staff only,” Brady wrote in her Sun newspaper column.

“And only those who have tested negative for Covid-19 in the past five days can enter this area…

“The amber zone will be restricted to the minimum number of staff required to meet contractual requirements for broadcasting, media and club staff… And anyone entering this area will be subject to a temperature check and a health questionnaire.

“And the green zone is the stadium exterior, eg car parking.”

Players have been told they must not shake hands, spit or share drinks, while social distancing will be observed even in the dressing room and showers, with a 15-minute limit for pre-match talks by managers.

“A new strict accreditation process will be developed, including an isolation room should someone unfortunately develop symptoms of Covid-19 whilst within the stadium,” Brady added.

Television viewers will have access to 360 degree replays and pre-match tunnel shots, while players’ shirts will feature the logo of Britain’s state-run National Health Service.

“So we are in good shape,” Brady said. “We are ready. We are raring to go.”

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