Exciting midfield star Okechukwu Azubuike was filled with mixed emotions after inspiring his new side Çaykur Rizespor to an impressive 3-0 win over his former side Yeni Malatyaspor in the Turkish Super Lig on Friday night.
Azubuike continued with his good form since returning to Turkey last month and contributed to Rizespor’s win, including a stoppage time assist for Burkina Faso attacker Prejuce Nakoulma to complete the scoring against Malatyaspor.
He spent two successful seasons at Yeni Malatyaspor before leaving the modest Turkish side for Egyptian revolutionaries Pyramids last summer.
“It’s a mixed feeling for me, playing and winning against my former club., but I’m happy we won,” Azubuike EXCLUSIVELY told www.aclsports.com
When the former Bayelsa United midfielder joined Rizespor on January 24, the club were still bottom of the Turkish Super Lig table, two points adrift of safety but exactly one month later, the side are now placed 11th on the log, four points clear of the relegation zone.
“It’s great to see we’ve climbed up and are still climbing up because the job is not done yet. The points are still close in the log and any slip up can cause havoc. We will still have to continue our fight to stay up,” added Azubuike who is enjoying much love among Rizespor fans.
— Azubuike Okechukwu (@aazzuu14) February 23, 2019
Apart from Azubuike who featured for 90 minutes in the game against Malatyaspor, his compatriots Aminu Umar and Chidozie Awaziem also featured in the game. Umar played for 67 minutes while Awaziem featured for the entire duration.
While the latter has been a part of Gernot Rohr’s Super Eagles since 2016, the duo of Azubuike and Umar – both of whom represented Nigeria at the 2016 Rio Olympics – have never been called up by the Franco-German trainer.
Azubuike is not giving up on a call up.
“I’m hopeful (of an invitation), I’m playing good and I think I should be called up to the Nigerian side. It is part of the reasons I came back to Europe to get playing time so it is natural I will be hoping to get the call,” said the energetic midfielder.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles next games will be in around a month’s time against Seychelles and Egypt at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.