Soccer was called to order yesterday at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in the first semi-final match between Nimba and Grand Gedeh but after a grueling 90 minutes of total football, Nimba’s Sam Jackson pulled a stunning surprise to sweep victory the hard way.And the 4-2 drubbing of rivals, Grand Gedeh propelled Nimba to the soccer finals of the 2014 edition and their opponent could be either Grand Bassa or Bong County who were deciding the winner at press time last night.Sunday’s game will be the grand final and Nimba will be in action again to decide which county becomes the undisputed champion.Interestingly, player Jackson scored his 6th goal to lead as the highest scorer so far, and with his incredible strength and skillful tricks with the ball, there seems no player even close.Though for Nimba County, celebrating the victory to the finals on Sunday began the moment improved referee Jerry Nyekeh sounded his whistle to end the game yesterday, someone said it was only the beginning.Hundreds of Nimbains chanted their appreciation to their gallant warriors who stood the threat from Grand Gedeh after they (Grand Gedeh) scored their second goal in the second half to reduce the tally 2-3.Nimba, who had resumed the second session slowly, came under intense pressure as the warriors of Grand Gedeh mounted repeated attacks. They were impressive and even radio commentators expressed the fear and hope that Grand Gedeh would call off Nimba’s bluff.But like all things human, Sam Jackson, the man of the match had different ideas.It was around the 87th minute when the rising star, who just signed a contract to play for BYC, got a connection, and hampered towards Grand Gedeh’s goal. It was like hell on earth as radio commentators cried in celebration as the striker, chased by Grand Gedeh defenders, chose to ignore them.The stadium remained apprehensive as the wonder kid challenged the poor goalkeeper in Grand Gedeh’s post. Having conceded three goals already, only God knew what Grand Gedeh’s goalie was thinking about.In the stands for Nimba County were Senators Isaac Nyenabo and Prince Y. Johnson. And no one was sure if the player had promised them a goal each. Sam Jackson made nonsense of Grand Gedeh’s defense and pushed the ball beyond the reach of the advancing goalkeeper to begin the celebration that would end this coming Sunday.That was in the 88th minute.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Toronto stock market was little changed Monday morning, surrendering most early gains as profit-taking hit Research In Motion’s (TSX:RIM) share price while mining and energy stocks failed to benefit from higher commodity prices.The S&P/TSX composite index added 7.16 points to 12,823.79, while the TSX Venture Exchange was off 5.31 points at 1,221.93.The Canadian dollar sold off for a fourth session, down 0.3 of a cent to a six-month low of 99.05 cents US.The dollar has tumbled about 1 1/2 cents US since the Bank of Canada indicated Wednesday that it will be slower to raise interest rates than had been expected because of economic weakness.The dollar has been supported in recent months partly on sentiment that the central bank might hike rates later this year. Data released Friday showing low inflation in Canada at the end of 2012 further suggested that investors will have to wait longer for the central bank to move. Higher rates tend to attract investors and push up the currency.U.S. indexes lost early momentum as a disappointing housing sector report competed with a well received earnings report from heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. and data showing higher than expected durable goods orders in December.The Dow Jones industrials declined 14.23 points to 13,881.75 as the National Association of Realtors said its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales dropped 4.3 per cent to 101.7 in December. That’s still 6.9 per cent higher than it was a year ago. Sales were held back by a limited supply of available homes.The Nasdaq gained 4.37 points to 3,154.08 and the S&P 500 index was down 3.05 points to 1,499.91.Durable goods orders rose by a greater than expected 4.6 per cent in December. That was more than double the consensus forecast for a two per cent gain. The transportation sector was largely responsible for the increase, with orders in that segment up 12 per cent.Caterpillar’s fourth-quarter profit fell 55 per cent to US$697 million, or $1.04 a share. The latest quarter included a previously disclosed goodwill impairment charge of 87 cents a share.Revenue dropped seven per cent to US$16.08 billion, beating estimates of $16 billion. Ex-items earnings were $1.91 per share versus expectations of $1.69 and its shares were up 1.35 per cent to US$96.87 in New York.A stronger than expected string of U.S. fourth-quarter earnings reports has helped push markets higher in January, with the TSX gaining 0.7 per cent last week while the Dow industrials ran ahead 1.8 per cent.“The markets are probably a little ahead of themselves, capturing the relief that we didn’t have great protracted political battles in the U.S.,” said Chris King, portfolio manager at Morgan, Meighen and Associates, referring to the so-called fiscal cliff and raising the debt ceiling.“All the while, we know that the U.S. economy is improving, China is turning around. And what is most encouraging, we’re seeing fund flows back into equities like we haven’t seen going back more than a decade.”The Canadian corporate earning season kicks into gear this week with some of Canada’s biggest companies reporting.Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP) and grocer Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU.A) report earnings results on Tuesday while Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (TSX:POT) and Canadian Oil Sands (TSX:COS) hand in numbers on Thursday.Elsewhere on the corporate front, Research In Motion Ltd. (TSX:RIM) unveils its new BlackBerry 10 product line in New York on Wednesday. Its stock has been on a tear lately amid optimism about the new lineup, rising 50 per cent in January and 12 per cent last week alone. However, its stock fell 77 cents, or 4.37 per cent, to $16.84 Monday morning on profit-taking.The gold sector was down 0.85 per cent as February bullion stepped back 50 cents to US$1,656.10 an ounce. Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) shed 24 cents to $32.78 while Kinross Gold Corp. (TSX:K) faded 28 cents to C$8.30.The mining sector also helped depress the TSX, down 0.5 per cent as March copper on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose one cent to US$3.66 a pound. Thompson Creek Metals (TSX:TCM) shed six cents to C$4.13 and Capstone Mining (TSX:CS) declined six cents to $2.43.The energy sector was off 0.16 per cent even as oil prices advanced, with the March crude contract ahead five cents to US$95.93 a barrel. Imperial Oil (TSX:IMO) lost 13 cents to C$44.95.The telecom sector gained 0.6 per cent with BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) ahead 34 cents to $44.70.Financials also supported the TSX as Royal Bank (TSX:RY) rose 46 cents to $62.56 while Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) gained 40 cents to $64.55.Economic news will also hopefully provide some direction for traders.In the U.S., the Federal Reserve wraps up its two-day meeting on interest rates Wednesday. No one expects the central bank to move on rates but traders will look for clues as to when the Fed might end its latest round of economic stimulus.Minutes from the previous Fed meeting, released Jan. 3, showed a split among members over how long to continue the stimulus, known as quantitative easing. It involves the Fed buying bonds to support the U.S. economy, a move aimed at keeping interest rates low.Some thought the program should be slowed or stopped before the end of 2013 amid concerns that the bond purchases would destabilize the economy.The key piece of data for the week comes out Friday. Economists generally expect the U.S. non-farm payrolls report to show that the economy created 153,000 jobs in January, slightly below December’s 155,000 reading.Traders will also take in the latest readings on economic growth in Canada and the U.S. during the week.European bourses were higher as London’s FTSE 100 index added 0.22 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX lost 0.24 per cent and the Paris CAC was up 0.07 per cent.