Our special focus on Super Eagles players who ply their trade in Europe continues ahead of the decisive encounter between Nigeria and Zambia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
For this review, we start from the French Ligue 1. Chidozie Awaziem, (Nantes, France)
It was another weekend, another win for Awaziem and Nantes, after they defeated bottom club, Metz, 1-0 at home with Awaziem playing for just 22minutes this time, as he came on as a substitute for Yassine El Ghanassay.
Simon Moses, (KAA Gent, Belgium)
Simon played for 76 minutes but failed to save his side, Gent, as they lost 2-1 to Club Brugge, with another Nigerian, Emmanuel Bonaventure, scoring for the home side. Simon was replaced by an unknown Nigerian youngster, Samuel Kalu Ojim, 20, with Anderson Esiti, also a Nigerian, lasting the 90 for Gent.
Shehu Abdullahi, (Anorthosis, Cyprus)
Abdullahi lasted the 90 but couldn’t help his table topping side to a clean sheet, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by second placed AEK Larnaca, with both sides scoring in the second half.
In Portugal, powerhouse, Oghenekaro Etebo also lasted the 90 but was unable to stop his side, Feirense, losing their fourth consecutive game, after Boavista pipped them 1-0 at the Estadio do Bessa.
In the Portuguese third division, standby goalkeeper, Dele Alampasu may have to wait a while longer for action, as his team, Cesarense, who currently are atop the table, kept a clean sheet without him in their 3-0 thrashing of Trofense.
And in the Dutch Eredivisie, another standby Super Eagle, Tyronne Ebuehi featured in ADO Den Haag’s 1-0 win over NAC Breda, with the only goal scored by Tom Bengelsdijk in the 80th minute, four minutes after Ebuehi, who picked up a booking, was substituted.
William Troost-Ekong, Mikel Agu (Bursaspor, Turkey.)
A member of the ‘Oyibo Wall’ fame, Troost-Ekong, and midfielder, Mikel Agu, gave a good account of themselves at the weekend in the Super Lig.
While Troost-Ekong scored a goal, assisted by his compatriot, Agu, who impressed in midfield, both players were unable to save Bursaspor from losing 3-1 to Kayserispor.
At the Vodafone Stadyumu, Ogenyi Onazi played for more than an hour, as his club side, Trabzonspor picked up a valuable point after they held giants, Besiktas to a 2-2 draw.
Another defensive player, Elderson Echiejile played for just few seconds after coming on for Emre Kilinc in stoppage time of his side, Sivasspor’s 3-1 defeat of Antalyasspor.
In the Russian league, Aaron Samuel, who’s on standby for the Super Eagles, was an used substitute in his club, CSKA Moskva’s goalless draw with UFA, a side that paraded another Nigerian, Sylvester Igboun, who played for 80 minutes in his 12th game of the season, before he was replaced by yet another Nigerian, Kehinde Fatai.
Meanwhile, in the English Premier League, Super Eagles’ winger-cum wingback, Victor Moses, watched from the bench as his club, Chelsea, were beaten at home for the second time this season in the PL, following a 1-0 loss to league leaders, Manchester City.
At the Emirates stadium, 21-year-old playmaker, Alex Iwobi, announced his return to fitness in style, after scoring in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over promoted outfit, Brighton & Hove Albion.
Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho & Ahmed Musa, (Leicester City)
Of the trio, it was only Ndidi who started in Leicester’s goalless draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, with Iheanacho playing the last 20 minutes, after coming on for Shinji Okazaki, while Musa’s struggles continued, as he was not even listed at all for the game.
In the English second division, the Championship, new Super Eagle, Ola Aina was in superb form as his struggling side, Hull City returned to winning ways in style, following a 6-1 demolition of visitors, Birmingham City at the KCom stadium.
While Aina was unable to help the Tigers keep a clean sheet in the game, the 19-year-old was, however, on hand to assist their third goal, scored by Jarrod Bowen.
Alex Iwobi and Anthony Nwakaeme, who scored in the Europa League for Hapoel Beer-Sheva, were the only attackers invited by Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr, who scored ahead of that crucial match with Zambia, there were other Nigerians not invited who continued to give the Franco-German coach reasons to think about them.
In Belgium, Simon Moses was overshadowed by his younger compatriot, 19-year-old Emmanuel Dennis Bonaventure, who was amongst the scorers for Club Brugge in their 2-1 win over Simon’s club, Gent.
It was Bonaventure’s 5th goal in six games for Brugge, who are now 4 points clear atop the Belgian league, while Henry Onyekuru, who is on loan at Anderlecht from Everton, scored a late winner for the Belgian champions, as the overcame Standard Liege 1-0. It was Onyekuru’s 4th goal for Anderlecht in 8 matches.
In Holland’s Eredivisie, 23-year-old Belgian born Cyriel Dessers, who has made known his intentions to play for Nigeria, continued his good form. after netting his fourth goal in seven matches for FC Utrecht in their 1-1 draw with Vitesse Arnhem.
And in the Danish Superliga, while he was unable to score in his club’s 4-1 win against AaB last weekend, Paul Onuachu has continued from where he stopped last season, as he has netted six times in eight games for Midtyjylland this season.
The 23-year-old, who is deadly with his head, netted 23 times in all competitions for the Danish side last season.