Friday, March 1, 2024

Nigerian Players Abroad Weekend Scorecard: Boniface, Iwobi, Chukwueze others Light Up Europe

  • Boniface ends Bundesliga five-game goal drought
  • Sor back with a brace for Genk in Belgium

It was another weekend of mixed fortunes for Nigerian Stars abroad as they continued to make their mark with their various clubs.

SUNDAY

ENGLAND

IWOBI, BASSEY (FULHAM)

Alex Iwobi and Calvin Bassey were on parade for Fulham, who were at the end of a 4-3 thriller at Anfield against Liverpool. Before Iwobi was taken off in the 75th minute for Bobby De Cordova-Reid, Fulham were holding on to a 2-2 draw before the Iwobi replacement stunned the hosts to put Fulham ahead 3-2. Liverpool however responded with two quick goals through Wataru Endo and Trent Alexander-Arnold to win the game 4-3. Bassey on the other hand played the entire duration of the game.

FRANCE

AKOR ADAMS (MONTPELLIER)

It’s now five consecutive games without a goal for former junior international, Adams in the Ligue 1. He was taken off in the 76th minute as Montpellier were pipped 1-0 by Monaco. The defeat leaves Montpellier just two points above the relegation zone. Adams last league goal for the club was a brace against Toulouse on October 29 and has scored seven goals in 14 games.

GERMANY

BONIFACE, TELLA (BAYER LEVERKUSEN)

Victor Boniface ended his run of five games in the Bundesliga without a goal as he helped Bayer Leverkusen secure a 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund and stay unbeaten in the league. The 22-year-old got his goal in the 79th minute with a simple tap-in to keep the scoreline level after Julian Ryerson had given the visitors the lead in the first half. Before this game, Boniface’s last goal in the league was against Koln on October 8. However, he has kept scoring in the Europa League with more assists in the Bundesliga as well. He now has eight Bundesliga goals and five assists.

His compatriot, Nathan Tella was an unused substitute and Leverkusen remain top of the table with 35 points from 13 matches.

ITALY

SUCCESS, OKOYE (UDINESE)

For the umpteenth time, goalkeeper Maduka Okoye was benched while Isaac Success was taken off as early as the 7th minute due to a knock as Udinese played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at home against Verona. Success’ replacement, Lorenzo Lucca scored the second and third goals for Udinese but the visitors equalised on both occasions to steal a point.

NETHERLANDS

CHUBA AKPOM (AJAX)

Akpom came on again as a second half substitute for Ajax in their 2-1 win over Nijmegen on Sunday. His 25 minutes action wasn’t enough for him to add to his budding goal tally in the Dutch League after hitting form with five goals in his last four league games before Sunday. Kristian Hlynsson and Carlos Forbs scored for Ajax while a late goal from Elayis Tavsan halved the deficit for the home side.

BELGIUM

SOR, AROKODARE (GENK)

Former junior international, Yira Sor returned to the Genk starting line-up with a bang on Sunday, scoring twice as they drew 2-2 against Gent at home. After enduring a tough start to the season, the 23-year-old was making his first start since August and made it count with a goal in the 21st minute to level matters for Genk after their visitors had taken an early lead. He scored their second goal in the 51st minute but they couldn’t hold on to the lead as they were pegged back by a stoppage time Tarik Tissoudali equaliser.

His teammate, Tolu Arokodare came on for him in the 76th minute.

ORBAN, TORUNARIGHA (GENT)

Super Eagles invitees, Gift Orban and Jordan Torunarigha were named in the starting line-up on Sunday as Gent forced a 2-2 draw away at Genk. Orban finished the game but could not add to his three league goals this season while Torunarigha was taken off at halftime.

SCOTLAND

DESSERS, BALOGUN (RANGERS)

Back in the starting line-up after sitting out their last game, Cyriel Dessers fired blanks in Rangers 2-0 win over St. Mirren. Both goals were scored by Senegal’s Abdallah Sima. Defender Leon Balogun was on for the entire duration of the game as they kept a clean sheet.

TURKEY

Paul Onuachu (Trabzonspor)

Onuachu played for 90 minutes but he was unable to score for the fourth game in a row as his Trabzonspor side fell to a 1-0 defeat at home against Kayserispor. Since switching from Championship side Southampton, the Nigerian forward has scored seven goals for the Turkish outfit.

SATURDAY

ENGLAND

Frank Onyeka (Brentford)

In the Premier League, Onyeka put on a good show in midfield as Brentford taught Luton Town a lesson with a 3-1 home win. Onyeka has steadily kept his place in Thomas Frank’s midfield and has one assist this season.

Iheanacho, Ndidi (Leicester City)

Life in the Championship continued for Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi and they both seem to be making their way back to the EPL gradually after helping Leicester grind another win on Saturday. The Foxes clinched a late 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion, with Ndidi assisting Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s opener. Another Nigerian on parade for West Brom, Josh Maja equalised for West Brom, but Kelechi Iheanacho initiated the counter-attack that led to Harry Winks’ stoppage-time winner.

Ajayi, Maja (West Brom)

At the receiving end of a 2-1 defeat against Leicester at The Hawthorns, Josh Maja opened his goal account for the Baggies with their equaliser. He played only 16 minutes as a second-half substitute. He has endured a tough start to this season, after nursing an injury that kept him out until the end of November.

After sitting out their last game, Ajayi was back in the starting line-up and played every minute in the defeat. The defender also has one goal this season.

SPAIN

Umar Sadiq (Real Sociedad)

Days after opening his season’s goal account for Real Sociedad against Sevilla, Sadiq struck another long-range stunner to lift Real Sociedad to a 1-1 draw at Osasuna.

ITALY

Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan)

After opening his AC Milan account with a beauty in the Champions League, Chukwueze made his third consecutive start for Milan in the Serie A and he impressed as they put behind their midweek defeat to Borussia Dortmund to secure a 3-1 win against Frosinone.

FRANCE

Moses Simon (Nantes)

In the clash of Super Eagles stars in Ligue 1, Simon was in action as Nantes battled to a 1-0 win over Terem Moffi’s OGC Nice, handing them their first defeat of the season. Florent Mollet scored the Canaries’ only goal in the first half. Simon has been instrumental for Nantes, starring so far this season with three league goals and five assists as well.

Terem Moffi (Nice)

Moffi and Nice were flying and undefeated before visiting Nantes but the Nigerian striker couldn’t score in back-to-back games as they lost 1-0. He has four league goals and two assists.

GERMANY

Kevin Akpoguma (Hoffenheim)

Akpoguma played the full match, but Hoffenheim couldn’t avoid a 2-1 loss to Borussia M’gladbach in the Bundesliga.

TURKEY

Ibrahim Olawoyin (Caykur Rizespor)

Having featured in all 14 games of Caykur Rizespor this season, former Super Eagles B midfielder Olawoyin finally opened his goal account for the season with a brace to power the newly promoted side to a 3-2 win over Istanbul Basaksehir. Olawoyin scored his first in the 13th minute to make it 1-1 before firing a stoppage-time long-range winner to seal the win.

SWITZERLAND

Francis Momoh (Grasshoppers)

Former Heartland player Momoh impressed for Grasshoppers as they made light work of Samuel Kalu’s Lausanne-Sport with a 5-0 mauling. The striker has made nine league appearances this season and has three goals.

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