Nigerian Players Round-Up: Ogu, Kayode Win League Titles; Iheanacho, Simon, Simy On Target In Europe
Turkey: The Nigerian duo of Shehu Abdullahi and William Troost-Ekong started for Bursaspor and played the entire duration of the match as Bursaspor took on Ogenyi Onazi’s Trabzonspor in the penultimate match of the Turkish Super Lig at the Bursa Buyuksehir Belediye Stadyumu, Bursaspor lost 3-1 at home as Onazi who started for Trabzonspor helped them to record their sixth away win of the season.
Trabzonspor is hoping to secure a Europa League qualification spot for next season. Mikel Agu who is likely to return to parent club Porto at the end of his loan deal was benched by the Coach of Bursaspor Ivko Ganchev for 90 minutes. However, Bursaspor is safe from relegation as they are six points clear from the relegation zone.
Elsewhere in the Turkish Super Lig, Aminu Umar started for Osmanlispor FK, but could not stop his team from losing 3-2 at home to Besiktas. Aminu Umar was replaced by Andreas Maxsoe in the 72nd minute of the encounter. Osmanlispor FK is in serious danger of being relegated, they need to win their match on the final day of the season and hope that results elsewhere go in their favour.
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England: The Super Eagles of Nigeria forward Kelechi Iheanacho started for Leicester City at the Wembley Stadium away to Tottenham Hotspur. Iheanacho was on target for Leicester City in the 47th to give them a 3-1 lead just on the resumption of the second half, but the Foxes could not hold on to the lead as they lost the highly entertaining encounter 5-4. The goal was Iheanacho’s second goal in two matches and third in the just concluded Premier League season.
Victor Moses started for Chelsea against Newcastle at St. James Park, the Nigerian could not do much as Chelsea were pummelled 3-0 by the home team, hence condemning the former Premier League Champions to the Europa League next season.
Alex Iwobi started for Arsenal against Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium in Arsene Wenger’s last game in charge of the Gunners, the game ended in favour of Arsenal through a lone goal scored by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 38th minute. Iwobi was replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the 72nd minute.
Germany: Noah-Joel Sarenren-Bazee (Hannover 96), Leon Balogun (Mainz 05), Anthony Ujah (Mainz 05), Victor Osimen (Wolfsburg) were all not listed by their respective clubs on the final day of the season in the German Bundesliga. Leon Balogun is injured and still recovering.
Italy: Super Eagles hopeful Simeon Nwankwo (Simy) was on the scoresheet in the 29th minute with his seventh goal of the season to give Crotone the lead at home to Lazio at the Stadio Ezio Scida, Crotone could not sustain the lead as they were forced to a 2-2 by Lazio, Crotone are now in danger of being relegated if they don’t win their last game of the season away to Napoli.
Joel Obi was on the bench for 90 minutes when Torino played against SPAL 2013, Obi has been injured for a while and would be hopeful of playing some part in Torino’s final game of the season against Genoa as he seeks to be fully fit and in proper shape for the Would Cup in June.
Russia: Brian Idowu started for Amkar Perm against FK Akhmat in a Russian Premier League match played at the Zvezda Stadion. Amkar Perm needed a win to be safe in the league but they could only manage a goalless draw against FK Akhmat, the draw means Amkar will be involved in a relegation play-off.
Former Super Eagles midfielder Fegur Ogunde was introduced by Amkar Perm’s Coach Vadim Evseev in the 74th minute when he replaced Sergey Balanovich, the third Nigerian on the books of Amkar Aaron Samuel was not listed for the match.
Elsewhere in Russia, Ahmed Musa scored his sixth goal in ten league appearances for CSKA Moscow, who overcame relegation strugglers Anzhi Makhachkala by 2-1 to secure automatic qualification into next season’s Champions League competition. The win ensured that CSKA Moscow finished in second place behind league Champions Lokomotiv Moscow.
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China: In the Chinese Super League Odion Ighalo’s Changchun Yatai played host to John Obi Mikel Captained Tianjin Teda at the Changchun Stadium on Saturday. The matched ended 1-0 in favour of Tianjin Teda through an 81st-minute goal scored by Frank Acheampong. Both Super Eagles players started the match for their respective clubs.
The win pushed Tianjin Teda to 8th on the league table with 15 points from 10 matches, while Changchun Yatai moved down to 13th place with 11 points from 10 matches as well. Obafemi Martins is still out injured but his team Shanghai Shenhua defeated Chongqing Lifan 2-1 at the Hongkou Football Stadium and moved to sixth on the league table.
Ukraine: Kayode Olarenwaju won the Ukrainian Premier League title with Shakhtar Donetsk who wrapped up the league with a slim 1-0 win over visiting Veres Rivne at the Stadion Metalist, the only goal of the match was scored by Marlos in the 5th minute through a penalty. Kayode Olarenwaju replaced Facundo Ferreyra in the 78th minute of the match. Kayode Olarenwaju’s Shakhtar Donetsk are double Ukrainian Champions after winning the League Cup last week by beating fierce rivals Dynamo Kyiv 2-0 in the final.
Belgium: Gent took on Anderlecht at the Ghelamco Arena with Anderson Esiti and Moses Simon starting for Gent, while Henry Onyekuru was named on Anderlecht substitute bench by Coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck, Samuel Kalu was not listed by Gent. The match was settled in favour of Gent through a single goal scored by Moses Simon in the 66th minute. Moses Simon was replaced by Mamadou Sylla in the 90th minute while Henry Onyekuru did not see action in the match.
Isreal: Super Eagles midfielder John Ogu and international teammate Anthony Nwakaeme celebrated another Israeli Premier League title. This is Hapoel Beer-Sheva’s third Israeli Premier League title in a row. Hapoel Beer-Sheva claimed the title on Sunday despite going down to a 1-0 defeat at home to Maccabi Tel Aviv as their closest challenger Beitar Jerusalem could only manage a 3-3 draw at Bnei Yehuda.
Hapoel Beer-Sheva have now garnered 74 points from 34 matches, seven points clear of title rivals, Beitar Jerusalem. John Ogu has featured in 27 league games for Beer-Sheva with three goals to his name, while Anthony Nwakaeme on the other hand has scored 10 goals in 27 appearances for the club this season.