Eagles stars blow hot, cold in Europe
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Nigerian players in the English Premier League got a rest this weekend, following the death of the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday but their counterparts in other European leagues were outstanding for their teams, Johnny Edward writes
Chidera Ejuke (Hertha Berlin)
Chidera Ejuke made his first assist of the season for Hertha Berlin who drew 2-2 at home to Bayer Leverkusen that battled back to earn one point at the Olympiastadion Berlin. The CSKA Moscow loanee set up Suat Serdar for the equaliser in the 55th minute after Kerem Demirbay had shot Leverkusen into the lead four minutes into the second half. He was later replaced in the 67th minute in the game in what was his sixth league appearance. Hertha Berlin has now recorded just one win, two draws and three defeats this season. Leverkusen now sit 16th in the table in the playoff spot, after only winning one game out of six. Hertha however are now 14th in the table only one point clear of Leverkusen.
Kevin Akpoguma (Hoffenheim)
Akpoguma made his sixth appearance of the Bundesliga season for Hoffenheim who returned to winning ways with a remarkable 4-1 win against 10-man Mainz 4-1 at the PreZero Arena on Saturday.
The Nigerian defender who was yellow-carded in the 10th minute was replaced by French player Stanley Nsoki.
Anthony Ujah (Eintracht Braunschweig)
Ujah scored his second goal of the season for Eintracht Braunschweig who drew 1-1 Hannover on Saturday. The Nigerian scored in the 69th minute off an assist from Danilo Wiebe but he was replaced with 15 minutes left by Lion Lauberback. The former Union Berlin striker was cautioned in the 70th minute.
Unfortunately, for Eintracht Braunschweig, the lead did not last, as Harvard Nielsen restored parity for Hannover in the 77th minute.
Afeez Aremu (St Pauli)
Aremu started St Pauli’s eighth Bundesliga 2 game of the season at home to SV Sandhausen on the bench. The former U-20 midfielder has made three appearances this season.
Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Osimhen was missing from Napoli’s 1-0 win away at Spezia on Saturday due to injury. The Nigerian has scored twice and made an assist in five Serie A games this season.
Lookman, Okoli (Atalanta); Okereke, Dessers (Cremonese)
Super Eagles trio, Ademola Lookman, David Okereke and Cyriel Dessers were all handed starting role for their respective teams Atalanta and Cremonese who played out a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Nigerian-born Okoli also starred in defence for the La Dea. The game was his fifth of the season.
All three forwards failed to score in the encounter. Lookman who partnered Luis Muriel in attack for Atalanta played for 77 minutes before he was replaced for Mario Pasalic.
The former Leicester City winger has registered a goal and two assists in six league matches. Okereke and Dessers were also replaced in the 68th and 83rd minute respectively.
Ola Aina (Torino)
Aina was an unused substitute for Torino who suffered their second loss of the season to Inter Milan on Saturday.
A last-gasp volley from Marcelo Brozovic spared Inter’s blushes as they snatched a late win. The Croatian latched onto Nicolo Barella’s lob into the box in the 89th minute to steer the ball just beyond Vanja Milinkovic-Savic and spark wild celebrations. The 25-year-old Nigerian has made five Serie A appearances (six in all competitions) this season for the Granata.
Simy Nwankwo (Benevento)
Simy was an unused substitute for Benevento who lost 2-0 at home to Cagliari on Saturday. The Nigerian striker is yet to make his debut for the Serie B side.
Isaac Success (Udinese)
Success made his sixth appearance for Udinese who came from a goal down to beat Sassuolo 3-1 on Sunday.
The Nigerian striker played for 67 minutes before he was substituted for Beto. He is yet to score a league goal this season.
Calvin Bassey (Ajax)
Bassey helped reigning Dutch champions, Ajax to their fourth clean sheet of the season as they thrashed Heerenveen 5-0 with Ghana international Mohammed Kudus grabbing a brace while the other goals came from Davy Klaassen, Kenneth Taylor and Brian Brobbey.
The game was Bassey’s fourth in the league (six in all competitions). However, it did not end well for the hosts as the Nigerian was forced out in the 83rd minute due to a calf injury which his coach says it’s not serious.
It remains to be seen if he will be fully fit to play for Ajax in their clash away to Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
Odion Ighalo (Al Hilal)
Ighalo notched his third goal of the season for Al Hilal who defeated Zamalek 4-1 on penalties to win the Lusail Super Cup trophy after full-time scores ended 1-1 in Qatar.
The 33-year-old opened the scoring in the 18th minute for the Saudi champions Al Hilal, chipping over the keeper from the edge of the fans to send the traveling Saudi fans into rupture at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar. But Ahmed Sayed equalised for the Egyptians in the 33rd minute who were able to withstand a barrage of attacks by Al Hilal in the second half. He also converted his spot-kick during the shootout.
Oche Ochowechi (Feirense)
Ochowechi scored his first goal of the season for Feirense in their 1-1 draw away at B-SAD in the Portuguese second division on Sunday.
The 20-year-old Nigerian has made five appearances this season for Feirense
Saviour Godwin (Casa Pisa)
Former Nigerian U-20 international, Saviour Godwin, scored his first league goal of the season for Casa Pisa who defeated Pacos de Ferreira 3-2 on Sunday.
Godwin raced on to a perfect long-range pass from Casa Pisa defence to score his first top-flight goal of the season in Portugal.
He has made four game so far this term.
Onyemaechi, Nwankwo (Boavista)
Bruno Onyemaechi made his third league start for Boavista who defeated Arouca 2-1. His compatriot, Obiora Nwankwo was not listed for the encounter.
Sadiq Umar (Real Sociedad)
Despite giving the nod to start for Sociedad against Getafe on Sunday, Sadiq was in action for only 35 minutes after picking an injury.
The striker fell awkwardly and after medical attention, he was taken off the pitch as Imanol Alguacil’s side suffered a 2-1 defeat at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium.
The injury means the striker, whose period on the sideline has not been revealed, joins Napoli’s Victor Osimhen on the injury list that could alter Super Eagles’ head coach Jose Peseiro’s attacking plans ahead of Nigeria’s international friendly game against Algeria on September 27.
Kenneth Omeruo (Leganes)
The Nigerian defender was in action for 75 minutes as Leganes lost 1-0 to Las Palmas at the Estadio de Gran Canaria during their game in the La Liga Smartbank on Friday.
Preferred on the left side of the three-man defense by manager Imanol Idiakez, Omeruo put up a decent performance before he was substituted for Juan Munoz as Leganes pushed for an equaliser.
Simon (Nantes) Bonke, Moffi (Lorient)
Moses Simon was on target in Nantes’ 3-2 defeat against Terem Moffi’s Lorient at the Stade du Moustoir in the Ligue 1 on Sunday.
The winger, who made his first start in four games for Nantes, was in action for the entire 90 minutes and put up an impressive performance which was however not enough to rescue his side from losing away from home. The Nigerian coolly converted an assist Ignatius Ganago in the 85th minute as the Canaries aimed to rescue a point.
For Lorient, Terem Moffi and Innocent Bonke both started in manager Regis Le Bris’ 4-2-3-1 formation.
Moffi had a decent game, but he was taken off in the 74th minute for Ibrahima Kone while Bonke was in action for 90 minutes.
Ahmed Musa (Sivasspor)
Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, came on for Clinton N’jie in the 62nd minute for his debut in Sivasspor’s who forced Istanbulspor to a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Paul Onuachu (Genk)
Onuachu failed to score in the 63 minutes he played for Genk who beat Union Saint Gilliose 2-1 on Sunday.
The Nigerian striker is yet to get off the mark this season in five games since he returned to the starting lineup.