Manchester versus Chelsea, is our Match of the Week, for its intensity and dramatic end. Our own Victor Moses played an important part in Chelsea’s push for league glory. We review this as well as other performances by Nigerians over the weekend.
AUSTRIA (ROUND 18)
Round 17 and 18 fixtures in the Tipico Bundesliga were concluded at midweek and during the weekend, respectively. Here is the summary and results of the games involving Nigerian players:
Austria Vienna 1-3 Salzburg (midweek fixture)
Olarenwanju Kayode struck in the 70th minute to increase his league goals tally this season to six. The former Flying Eagles scored the solitary goal for Vienna in what ended up a loss at home to Salzburg. Kayode lasted the entire encounter. He now has 5 goals and 1 assist to his credit so far this season.
Admira 0-2 Austria Vienna (weekend fixture)
Austria Vienna followed their midweek home loss with an away win at Admira. And Olarenwaju Kayode followed up his solitary strike in the previous round with another in the 69th minute. He scored Vienna’s first goal before he was pulled out in the 84th minute. Kayode is the third highest goal scorer in the league with 7 goals. He trails former Austrian U21 international, Deni Alar of Sturm Graz, who has scored 11 goals, and Swiss 19-year old striker, Dimitri Oberlin (9 goals).
Sturm Graz 0-2 Admira (midweek fixture)
Another Nigerian, 22 year old forward, Bright Edomwonyi, failed to prevent Sturm Graz from getting a point at home to Admira, despite lasting 90 minutes.
AC Wolfsberger 0-4 Sturm Graz (weekend fixture)
Like Austria Vienna, Sturm Graz rebounded after a home loss during the week, with a an away win at Wolfsberger. However, unlike Kayode, Bright Edomwonyi did not increase his goals tally, but picked up a yellow card in the 81st minute of play. He was replaced in the 83rd minute by club and league top scorer, Deni Alar.
BELGIUM (ROUND 17)
Genk 1-2 Lokeren
Genk seems to be experiencing a rough patch. They recorded a second consecutive loss, after last week’s 6-0 humiliation they suffered in the hands of Ooestende, this time at home to Lokeren. Onyinye Ndidi, again, lasted the entire encounter. Genk is currently ranked 9th in the the 16-team Jupiler Pro League.
Club Brugge 2-0 Ooestende
Joseph Akpala was not part of Oestende’s set up in their loss to Club Brugge at Jan Breydel Stadion (Brugge), as he was not in their match day squad.
Charleroi 1-3 Standard Liege
Elderson Echiejile was not on Standard Liege’s line up when they beat Charleroi at Stade du Pays de Charleroi.
Westerlo 0-0 Gent
Moses Simon tasted another cameo action away to Westerlo in a game that ended goalless. Simon was subbed in, in the 84th minute. Fellow Super Eagle, Anderson Esiti retained his place on the Gent’s substitute bench. Whereas, Rabiu Ibrahim was not listed by Gent.
KV Mechelen 1-0 Eupen
Both Anthony Bassey and Henry Onyekuru, who scored in the last round, were in action for Eupen in their away lone-goal loss to Mechelen. Although they did not score this time, they both lasted the entire encounter. Bassey was cautioned in the 78th minute. Eupen’s other Nigerian representative, Jamabo George, is still out due to injury.
CROATIA (ROUND 18)
Zapresic 2-2 Istra 1961
Theophilus Solomon was not listed by Istra in their score draw away to Zapresic. Theophilus has scored 6 so far in the 1.HNL 2016/17 season.
D. Zagreb 1-1 Rijeka
Rijeka’s 22 year old Nigerian striker, Goodness Ajayi, watched from the bench in their draw away to defending league champions, Dynamo Zagreb. Goodness, unlike younger brother, and Watford striker, Success Isaac, has not featured for in any of the national teams.
ENGLAND (ROUND 14)
West Ham 1-5 Arsenal
Arsenal continued firing all cylinders in the Premier League with their trashing of West Ham at the Olympic Stadium. Chilean international, Alexis Sanchez, helped himself to a hat trick and an assist for Mesut Ozil. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlane scored one of the Gunners’ five goals. The scintillating performance of the aforementioned forwards kept Alex Iwobi in Arsenal’s bench until the 88th minute of play. Andrew Carrol scored West Ham’s consolation goal.
West Brom 3-1 Watford
Odion Ighalo’s did not join the fray until the 77th minute. Still, his introduction did nothing to add to the Hornets’ goals tally as they fell away to West Brom. Watford did not risk fielding Isaac Success, despite returning from injury.
Manchester City 1-3 Chelsea **(MATCH OF THE WEEK)**
It was an 8th consecutive win for Chelsea, in a duel that ended up in a fury at the Etihad Stadium. Manchester City’s early advantage from a Gary Cahil own goal was overturned by Conte’s men in the second half. Diego Costa, Edin Hazard and William made sure The Citizens’ paid dearly for their earlier misses, by providing the goods for Chelsea. Victor Moses was instrumental to Chelsea’s win again. However, this time, he dropped deep to help defensively. Trailing 1-2, City’s manager, Pep Gourdiola introduced Kelechi Iheancho with the hope that he could help turn things back to their favor. At injury time, a frustrated Sergio Aguero overreacted with a double legged tackle, when David Luiz succeeded in dispossessing him. Other players got involved in the brawl, but the referee took control of the situation by giving the matching orders to Aguero and Fernindinho ( both Manchester City). Arsenal players, Chalobah and Fabregas, were in turn, cautioned for unsportsmanlike conduct during the skirmish.
Sunderland 2-1 Leicester City
Sunderland continued their revival in the Premier League after a brief let up last week to Liverpool. This time, they beat league defending champions, Leicester City at the Stadium of Light. Victor Anichebe tormented Leicester’s defense all match long, while Leicester’s, Ahmed Musa was only introduced for Riyad Mahrez in the 73rd minute, but to no avail. Japanese international, Okazaki scored the solitary goal for the Foxes.
Bournemouth 4-3 Liverpool
What seemed to be a routine win for Ovie Ejaria‘s Liverpool ended up in a shocker. Jordan Ibe‘s Bournemouth rallied to outscore the Reds by scoring three late goals. Jordan Ibe’s introduction by Bournemouth in the 46th minute, surely did help to turn things around in their favor, as he was given a rating 6.4, for his all around play in the encounter. He had a 80% successful pass rate. Whereas, Ovie Ejaria was confined to the bench.
FRANCE (ROUND 16)
Bordeaux 0-1 Lille
Lille recorded another win, this time, away to Bordeaux. Super Eagles retiree goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama kept his first clean sheet of the season for Lille. But he needed a Diego Rolan penalty miss to help him achieve that feat. Roman crashed his kick at the crossbar in the 73rd minute, much to the delight of Lille manager, Patrick Collot.
Angers 2-2 Lorient
Angers, without Dickson Nwakaeme, were held at home by Lorient.
GERMANY (ROUND 13)
Mainz 05 1-3 Bayern Munich
Leon Balogun’s Mainz recorded a second consecutive loss, this time, at home to German powerhouse, Bayern Munich. Balogun lasted the entire encounter, but received a booking for his tackle on Robert Lewandowski, in a dangerous area. The resultant free-kick was well converted by the Pole, to give Bayern their third. Super Eagles target, and Mainz forward Karim Onisiwo also lasted the entire encounter.
Damstadt 0-2 Hamburger SV
Obinna Nsofor also tasted defeat with Damstadt in the hands of visiting Hamburger SV. He was not suited up in the encounter.
ITALY (ROUND 15)
Samdoria 2-0 Torino
Torino were whitewashed by home team, Samdoria. Joel Obi was out of Torino’s match day squad due to a thigh injury. Nigerian U23 left-back, Stanley Amuzie is on the payroll of Samdoria.
AC Milan 2-1 Crotone
Simeon ‘Simy’ Tochukwu was subbed in by Crotone in the 88th minute in their away loss to AC Milan.
Udinese 1-0 Bologna
The duo of Sadiq Umar and Orji Okonkwo were not involved in Bologna’s lone-goal loss away to Udinese. Umar is still out due to an ankle injury. Whereas, Okonkwo remained in the sidelines throughout the encounter.
NETHERLANDS (ROUND 15)
Roda 0-0 PSV
Roda Number 14 shirt, Abdul Ajagun, put up a 90 minute display from the central midfield in thier goalless draw, against visiting PSV Eindhoven.
Excelsior 3-3 Alkmaar
It was a six-goal thriller in Stadion Woudestein (Rotterdam), with Fred Friday‘s Alkmaar forcing hosts, Excelsior, to share points equally. Friday was introduced in the 76th minute of play, coming in for Wout Weghorst.
den Haag 0-2 Utrecht
Ado den Haag continued their poor run, losing at home to Utrecht. Super Eagles hopeful, Tyronne Ebuehi was on for the entire regulation time at Right-Back for den Haag. But he could not prevent a whitewash from the visitors.
Heracles 2-0 Nijmegen
Taiwo Awoniyi replaced Janio Bikel (Nijmegen) in the 80th minute. His introduction was fruitless as he was unable to change the scoreline in their loss away to Heracles. Despite his inability to score his first Eredivisie goal, he has been enjoying a spell of game time in Nijmegen, which will be instrumental to his development.
Vitesse 3-1 Zwolle
Vitesse beat visiting Zwolle at home with Abiola Dauda confined to the bench.
Willem II 0-0 Twente
Former Super Eagles forward, Bartholomew Ogbeche appeared in Willem II’s match day squad in a draw at home to Twente. He was not introduced in the encounter. Before his move to Willem II in January this year, Ogbeche had a fruitful period with former club, SC Cambuur scoring 27 goals in two seasons. He has been capped 6 times by the Super Eagles, the last time being a Germany ’06 world cup qualifier away to Gabon, where he was subbed in for Nwankwo Kanu. At 32 years old if Ogbeche can reenact his form last year, he definitely deserves a return to the Super Eagles.
PORTUGAL (ROUND 12)
Feirense 0-2 Arouca
Feirense seem to be putting all their foot wrong home and away. Oghenekaro Etebo, deployed as a left winger this time by the newly promoted side could not help his home team avoid defeat in the hands of visitors, Arouca. Etebo is still yet to score a league goal, but has been a super regular for the club which is owned by Nigerian businessman, Kunle Soname. Super Eagles reserve keeper, and former FIFA U17 Golden Glove winner, Dele Alampasu, is on the books of Feirense. He is currently on loan to a Portuguese third division side.
FC Porto 1-0 Braga
Musa Yahaya and Chidozie Awaziem, were both missing when their club, Porto, ensured Braga did not get the bragging rights at home. Rui Pedro proved to be a super-sub, scoring Porto’s lone goal in extra time, to beat the visitors.
RUSSIA (ROUND 17)
UFA 1-0 Tomsk
Kehinde Fatai returned to UFA’s lineup as a reserve player in their home game versus Tomsk. He was given the nod to play in the 64th minute. Teammate, Sylvester “Sly” Igbonu, worked a full shift, as they both helped UFA beat visiting Tomsk.
Amkar 3-0 Orenburg
Fegor Ogude was in action to help Amkar trash visiting Orenburg 3-nil. But it was Brian Idowu who put himself in the scoresheet to vindicate Nigerian national team coach, Gernot Rohr, who recently named him as one of his next prospect for the Super Eagles troubled Right-Back position. Idowu scored Amkar’s second in the 35th minute. Both Nigerians lasted the entire encounter. Nigerian decent, and Norwegian-born, Chuma Anene was introduced in the 68th minute by Amkar Perm. Anene is still eligible to play for Nigeria, as he has only featured for Norway in the underaged categories.
SPAIN (ROUND 14)
Granada 2-1 Sevilla
Nigeria’s only representative in the LaLiga, Uche Agbo, finally got his prayers answered as Granada got their first win of the season beating third placed Sevilla at home. The Nasrids where gunning for a 2-nil win, only to concede a penalty in extra time. Wissan Ben Yedder converted to hand Sevilla a consolation goal. Agbo lasted 77 minutes before he was replaced. With this feat, Granada pulled themselves off the bottom of the table to the 19th position in the 20-team log.
TURKEY (ROUND 13)
Osmanlispor 2-1 Karabuk
Aminu Umar’s teammates had already settled the encounter between Osmanlispor and Karabuk, before his introduction in the 85th minute. Osmanlispor without Raheem Lawal, got the better of the visitors.
Alanyaspor 2-3 Konyaspor
Keneth Omeruo followed his shutout performance the previous round, in an opposite fashion as he failed to help Alanyaspor prevent 3 goals in front of their home fans. An early Berkan Emir own goal helped Konyaspor outscore Alanyaspor by one.
Kasimpasa 1-2 Galatasaray
Emem Eduok scored his first, and Kasimpasa’s only goal, with Kenny Otigba picking up a yellow. They both fell with Kasimpasa to visiting Galatasaray.
Kayserispor 0-1 Trabzonspor
Ogenyi Onazi was conspicuously missing as his Trabzonspor won on the road to Kayserispor.
Baseksehir 2-2 Antalyaspor
Baseksehir drew a second consecutive league game. This time to visiting Antalyaspor. Cameroonian legend, Samuel Eto helped himself to a brace to slow down the newbies in the quest to follow their promotion with a league championship. Baseksehir who have only fielded Musa Muhammad at cup games still hold on in the summit of the Super Lig, 3 points ahead of second placed Besiktas. Besiktas has Daniel Amokachi‘s twin sons, Nazim and Kalim, in their academy roaster.
Bursaspor 2-1 Rizespor
Rizespor coach, Hikmet Karaman dropped Godfery Obaoabona to the bench in an effort to improve the fortunes of the club. But the move failed to yield anything positive away to Bursaspor, as they conceded twice.
Fernabahce 0-0 Besiktas
Fernabahce were held at home to Besiktas. Emmanuel Emenike was not listed in the scoreless draw.