Ekong’s performance herald this week’s review of Super Eagles players and their “bench-warming” roles at their respective European clubs over the weekend.
The defender netted his first goal of the campaign, putting his club 1-0 up against Fenerbahce with a bullet header in the first half.
However, Ekong’s goal was not enough to guarantee his side a win against the giants, who came from behind to seal a 2–1 victory.
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Everton’s on-long forward, Henry Onyekuru was on for 84 minutes as he made his league debut for Galatasaray at Ankaragucu.
He was very well tamed in by the host’s defense, before the 21-year-old was replaced by team mate and Algerian, Sofiane Feghouli in their 3-1 win.
Still in the Turkish Super Lig, Nigeria’s vice captain, Ogenyi Onazi started and finished the game in Trabzonspor’s 2-0 loss at Istanbul Bakasehir.
He also picked up his first booking of the season, following his caution on the 79th minute.
The English Premier League kicked off at the weekend, with most of Super Eagles players plying their trade in England starting on the bench.
All Eagles benched!
Isaac Success on Watford's bench, Leon Balogun on Brighton & Hove Albion's bench. #WATBHA
Victor Moses on the bench for Chelsea in #HUDCHE.#YourSportsMemo
— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) August 11, 2018
Victor Moses was one of them, but he later came on in the 81st in Chelsea‘s demolition of Huddersfield Town.
Moses replaced one of Chelsea’s goal scorers on the day, Pedro Rodriguez, who scored the third goal, as the Blues won 3-0 in Maurizio Sarri’s PL debut.
At the Vicarage Road, Leon Balogun was another Nigerian who started his English adventure on the bench.
While Moses played for nine minutes, Balogun’s debut in English football was delayed as he was a spectator in Brighton & Hove Albion‘s 2-0 defeat at Watford, who started Isaac Success, also a Nigerian, on the bench.
In the game between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates, Alex Iwobi was an unused substitute as the Gunners fell 2-0 to the champions.
Earlier on Friday, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho were the two Nigerians who started for their club as Leicester City visited Old Trafford to face Manchester United.
The duo lasted the duration of the game, but unfortunately ended on the losing side as United won 2-0.
The case was similar in the English second division, the Championship, where Oghenekaro Etebo plays for relegated outfit, Stoke City.
etebo on the bench. Its complete now.
— mbah mbah (@MMbah001) August 11, 2018
Etebo came off the bench for his second game of the season for the Potters, replacing former Barcelona star, Bojan Krkic in their 1-1 draw with Brentford.
Uche Agbo, Standard Liege
Agbo played for just 45minutes in Liege’s goalless draw at home to Cercle Brugge. He was booked on the 33rd minute, before he was replaced by Razvan Marin just before the start of the second half.
In the Russian League, full back, Brian Idowu, like most of his national team mates, also watched from the bench.
Idowu was an unused substitute in Lokomotiv Moscow‘s 1-0 loss at FC Orenburg.
In our bonus section this week, we have two players, Dutchgerian, Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld of Club Brugge and Eberechi Eze of Queens Park Rangers.
Danjuma was in superb form for his Belgian first division side, scoring a brace in their 3-0 thrashing of Kortrijk on Friday.
He was on the pitch for 75minutes, and made his impact felt for his side.
Another player whose performance caught our eyes was youngster, Ebere Eze.
Eze was one of QPR’s best players at the weekend, he made two key passes, completed two dribbles and scored Rangers’ only goal in their 2-1 loss to Sheffield United.
Did we leave out any player you feel deserves a mention?