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Nigerian Players Scorecard



A couple of Nigerian stars were impressive for their clubsides over the weekend in Saudi Arabia, France and Spain, but by and large, it was a tough weekend for several Nigerian star footballers in Europe as the usual goals rush was missing


SAUDI ARABIA


Odion Ighalo (Al Hilal)


Ighalo started off the 2022/23 Saudi Arabia League campaign in superb form for Al Hilal, scoring a goal with an assist in their 2-0 win at Al-Khaleej in a league game on Friday.


The 33-year-old tapped in from a rebound in the third minute, before setting up Moussa Marega for the second goal in the 25th minute.


Ighalo, the Golden Boot winner last season with 24 goals, would have registered his second goal before the end of halftime, but had his effort was disallowed.


SPAIN


Sadiq Umar (Almeria)


Umar notched his second LaLiga goal of the season in his third start for Almeria, who came from a goal down to beat Sevilla 2-1 on Saturday.


Sadiq doubled Almeria’s lead in the 52nd minute after Largie Ramazani had cancelled out Oliver Torres’ 30th minute opener 12 minutes later. The win was Almeria’s first of the campaign since they gained promotion to the elite division, and their first win in five Andalusian derbies.


Sadiq was instrumental in Almeria’s promotion to the Spanish topflight last season after bagging 18 goals in 36 games.


Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal)


Chukwueze came on for Jose Luis Morales in the 63rd minute in Villarreal’s goalless draw against Getafe at Coliseum Alfonso Perez.


The Nigerian has been in impressive form for the Yellow Submarines so far this season but he was unable to inspire his side to their third win of the season.


Kenneth Omeruo (Leganes)


Omeruo made his third league start for Leganes, who suffered a 1-0 loss to Lugo in the Spanish second division on Saturday. It was Leganes' third straight defeat this season.


They sit 19th position in the table, with their chances of a return to the topflight looking slim, following their poor start to the new season.


HOLLAND


Calvin Bassey (Ajax)


Bassey made his second league start for Ajax, who beat FC Utrecht 2-0 on Sunday. It was the second clean sheet the Nigerian defender was helping the Dutch champions achieve in three games.


The former Glasgow Rangers defender had 74 touches and made 90.3 per cent pass accuracy. He also completed two of the three long balls he attempted.


Bassey recorded three clearances and one tackle, as well as succeeding with two of the five duels he attempted against Utrecht.


The Nigeria international will hope to get the chance to make his home league debut at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Saturday, when Ajax face Cambuur on match-day five.


ENGLAND


Dennis, Awoniyi (Forest)


Emmanuel Dennis made his Premier League debut for Nottingham Forest in their 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.


The Nigeria international was named as a substitute alongside compatriot Taiwo Awoniyi but Dennis was introduced for Jesse Lingard in the 69th minute with the Reds trailing by a goal at the City Ground.


Dennis was a constant threat on the left flanks but Antonio Conte’s men stood their ground to seal all three points.


Meanwhile, Awoniyi was introduced for Yates in the 75th minute as the hosts aimed to level matters against the North Londoners.


Joe Aribo (Southampton)


Aribo was denied a chance to score his second goal of the season in Southampton’s 1-0 loss to Manchester United on Saturday.


The Nigerian’s superb header was parried by David De Gea in the 66th minute and it turned out to be the Saints only real chance in the encounter, as United held on for a vital win.


Aribo made 85 per cent pass completion, including one key pass. He also won six duels out of 12.


Iwobi (Everton), Onyeka (Brentford)


Alex Iwobi extended his goal drought to 163 days for Everton last Saturday, as the Toffees drew 1-1 at Brentford on Saturday. The draw saw the Toffees’ winless streak away to the Bees extend back to 1952.


The Nigerian was caught ball-watching as Vitaly Janelt netted the equalizer in the 84th minute, to earn Brentford a deserved point. It was Iwobi’s fourth league game of the season.


His compatriot, Frank Onyeka, watched on from the Brentford bench.


Onyeka has only seen 10 minutes of league action this season.


Iheanacho, Ndidi (Leicester City)


Super Eagles duo Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi came off the bench for Leicester City in the 2-1 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.


Iheanacho came on for Boubakary Soumare in the 55th minute for his third substitute appearance for the Foxes this season. And he had a chance to score in the 73rd minute, but his first time shot went just inches wide off the post after beating Edouard Mendy, in goal for the Blues.


Ndidi came on in the 89th minute for Youri Tielemans for his first substitute appearance of the season.


Semi Ajayi (West Brom)


Ajayi made his sixth Championship start for West Bromwich Albion, who drew 2-2 with Huddersfield Town. The stalemate means the Baggies are unbeaten in their last three league games.


The big defender could not cope with English-Nigerian Faustino Anjorin, who struck twice and was cautioned in the 95th minute.


ITALY


Victor Osimhen (Napoli)


Osimhen was denied his third goal of the season by the Virtual Assistant Referee in the 41 minutes as Napoli played a goalless draw against Fiorentina.


The Nigerian striker couldn’t prevent his side from dropping their first point of the 2022/23 season at the Artemio Franchi, Firenze.


Cyriel, Okereke (Cremonese)


Dessers laid an assist for Leonardo Sernicola’s goal for Cremonese, but it was not enough, as they lost 2-1 to Torino, who paraded Ola Aina for the entire duration of the encounter.


Cremonese are yet to win on their return to Serie A. Dessers and compatriot David Okereke got the nod to lead the Grigiorossi attack, while Aina started in defence for Torino.


Nikola Vlasic put Torino ahead in the 17th minute. The home side tried to get one back, but their efforts were insufficient. Dessers recorded a shot on target, but it was well saved by Vanja Milinkovic-Savic in the Torino goal.


Nemanja Radonjic doubled Torino’s lead in the 65th minute. However, Sernicola pulled one back for Cremonese with 10 minutes to go off a fine Dessers pass.


BELGIUM


Onuachu (Genk), Ejaita (Seraing)


Onuachu made his third substitute appearance for Genk, who ran out 4-0 winners at RFC Seraing at the Stade du Pairay.


The 28-year-old came on for Joseph Paintsil in the 73rd minute of the win. The Nigerian striker has been linked with a move away from Genk this summer.


Onuachu’s countryman, Infoni Ejaita, Seraing’s new signing, was introduced in the 61st minute but it had little effect as the visitors recorded an emphatic victory.


GERMANY


Chidera Ejuke (Hertha Berlin),


Ejuke made his fourth Bundesliga appearance for Hertha Berlin, who lost 1-0 at Dortmund on Saturday. The former CSKA Moscow winger is yet to record a win with his new German club.


Afeez Aremu (St Pauli)


Aremu was an unused substitute for St Pauli in their 2-2 draw with Paderborn on Saturday. He has made three league appearances this season.


TURKEY


Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk)


Musa came on for Ebrima Colley in the 67th minute as Karagumruk defeated Ankaragucu 4-1 on Saturday. The forward was cautioned in the 92nd minute for a rash tackle.


FRANCE


Terem Moffi , Innocent Bonke (Lorient)


Super Eagles striker Moffi scored a brace for Lorient in their 2-1 victory over Clermont at the Stade du Moustoir.


Moffi got the nod to lead Les Merlus’ frontline, while compatriot Innocent Bonke started from the bench.


The Nigerian opened the scoring from a penalty spot in the 24th minute, sending goalkeeper Mory Diaw the wrong way.


He got the second goal with three minutes to the end of the first 45 minutes as he weaved his way past Clermont defenders and got one on one with Diaw. The Nigerian striker showed excellent composure and quality, dispatching the ball into the net.


Bonke was substituted in the 82nd minute.


Moses Simon (Nantes)


Moses Simon was unstoppable for FC Nantes in their 3-1 win over Toulouse FC on Sunday at Stade de la Beaujoire.


Simon scored a goal and assisted another in his side’s comeback win over Toulouse.


The Nigerian international started on the left flank in a 4-3-3 formation that saw him constantly cause havoc to the defense line of the opposition.


He assisted Evann Guessand’s goal in the 15th minute as Nantes drew level before scoring the assuring goal in the 61 minutes to seal all three points for the hosts.


- The Punch


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