Nigerian Players Round-Up: Onyekuru Hits Brace; Chukwueze Scores First La Liga Goal, Joel Obi Also On Target
Turkey: Nigerian international and Everton loanee, Onyekuru scored the opener for Galatasaray in the 19th minute from a rebound after Soufiane Feghouli’s shot was parried to his path. He bagged his brace in the 75th minute when he outpaced a Kayserispor defender before firing home from close range to score his third goal in 13 appearances this season for Turkish club Galatasaray.
He was subsequently booked for his goal celebration. The win was Galatasaray’s first in their last six games in all competitions, Galatasaray is now second in the Turkish Super Lig table with 23 points from 12 games and four points behind league leaders Istanbul Basaksehir.
Elsewhere in the Turkish Super Lig, At the Konya Buyuksehir Belediyesi stadium, in Turkey, Nigerian striker Lanre Kehinde made his fifth substitute appearance for Ankaragucu who were beaten 2-0 away to Konyaspor on Saturday. The 24-year-old Nigerian came on for Anton Putsila in the 77th minute of the encounter. He is yet to find the back of the net this season for Ankaragucu.
England: The Super Eagles of Nigeria midfield stalwart Wilfred Ndidi started for Leicester City at the King Power Stadium as the Foxes welcomed Burnley. Fellow Nigerian Kelechi Iheanacho came on in the 60th to replace Marc Albrighton, the pulsating encounter ended goalless as both defences could not be bridged.
Victor Moses was yet again not listed for Chelsea against Everton at Stamford Bridge, the former Nigerian international has not featured for the Blues in six consecutive matches this season. The match also ended goalless as the Toffees defence was resolute in keeping the attacking forays of the Blues at bay.
Alex Iwobi started for Arsenal against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates Stadium. Iwobi was however sacrificed for Matteo Guendouzi at halftime as Gunners coach Unai Emery made an early tactical substitution, but the change in setup did not immediately bring about the desired result, as it took until the hour mark for Arsenal to register their first shot on-target through Lucas Torreira’s long effort.
Ivan Cavaleiro had put Wolverhampton Wanderers in front with just 13 minutes into the game but Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s late strike earned the Gunners a point from the encounter at the Emirates Stadium, stretching Arsenal’s unbeaten run to 16 matches in all competition. Iwobi was threatening and very good for the 45 minutes he was on the field.
At the Cardiff City Stadium, Leon Balogun was an unused substitute for Brighton & Hove Albion as they lost 2-1 to Cardiff City through a Sol Bamba 90th minute winner.
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Italy: Super Eagles of Nigeria midfielder Joel Obi scored his first Serie A goal of the season for Chievo Verona who came from a goal down to hold Orji Okwonkwo’s Bologna to a 2-2 draw. Federico Santander had shot the visitors into an early lead in the third minute but a goal by Riccardo Meggiorini from the penalty spot and an Obi strike on the stroke of half-time secured a 2-1 lead for Chievo into the break.
Riccardo Orsolini’s 56th-minute goal for Bologna ensured the points were shared at the Marcantonio Bentegodi Stadium. The game was Obi’s seventh in the Serie A this season while Orji Okonkwo was an unused substitute for Bologna.
Spain: Former Flying Eagles winger and Super Eagles invitee Samuel Chimerenka Chukwueze scored his first La Liga goal for Villarreal in the 33rd minute in a 2-2 draw away to Rayo Vallecano at the Estadio de Vallecas. The nimble feet forward received a cross from the right, controlled it and drove into the box, ghosted past a defender before firing home. The goal was Chukwueze’s second in six appearances for Villarreal this season.
Elsewhere in the Spanish La Liga, Kenneth Omeruo started for Leganes against Girona at the Estadi Montilivi on Saturday evening. Omeruo was solid in defence for the visitors as they held Girona to a goalless draw.
China: In the Chinese Super League Odion Ighalo’s Changchun Yatai was relegated to the Chinese second division after they lost 2-0 to Dalian Yifang at the Dalian Sports Center Stadium in Sunday’s final league game. A goal in each half from Duvier Riascos and Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco sent Changchun Yatai back to the second division for the first time in 15 years.
Odion Ighalo who missed the game against Dalian Yifang through a hamstring injury scored an impressive 21 goals for his team this season to finish as the second top scorer in the Chinese Super League.
Mikel Obi’s Tianjin Teda however, managed to survive the drop on the final day despite losing 5-1 away to Guangzhou Evergrande at the Tianhe Stadium. They finished on 32 points but enjoyed a better head-to-head against Changchun Yatai, who also finished with 32 points from 30 matches. Shanghai SIPG won the 2017/18 Chinese Super League title for the first time in their history.
Denmark: In the Danish Superliga, Paul Onuachu bagged his ninth league goal of the season for FC Midtjylland who spanked Vejle Boldklub 5-0 on Sunday. Onuachu scored in the 24th minute to double FC Midtjylland’s lead.
Belgium: Anderson Esiti started and played for 89 minutes as nine-man Gent lost 2-0 away to RSC Anderlecht at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium. Esiti was replaced by Franko Andrijasevic.
Imoh Ezekiel was handed a cameo appearance for Kortrijk in their 2-0 loss at home to Standard Liege as he came on to replace Hannes Van Der Bruggen in the 85th minute of the encounter. Uche Agbo was introduced at halftime for Gojko Cimirot, while Abdul Ajagun was an unused substitute for Kortrijk.
France: In the French Ligue 1, Samuel Kalu started for Bordeaux against Caen in Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash at the Matmut Atlantique Stadium. Kalu was on for 60 minutes before he was replaced by Nicolas De Preville. The match finished goalless. Kalu is expected in the Super Eagles camp for this weekend’s 2019 Africa Cup Of Nations qualifier against South Africa in Johannesburg.
Norway: In the Norwegian Eliteserien Samuel Adegbenro was on target in the 28th minute as he scored in his second consecutive game for newly crowned Norwegian champions Rosenborg who defeated relegation-threatened IK Start 1-0 at the Soer Arena. IK Start brought on Aremu Afeez in the 78th minutes of the encounter, while Adeleke Akinyemi played for 80 minutes for IK Start the home team.
Switzerland: In the Swiss Super league, Stephen Odey featured for 50 minutes before he was replaced by Assan Ceesay in FC Zurich’s 2-1 home loss to Sion in a Swiss League match played on Sunday at the Letzigrund Stadium.