Welcome back. We bring to you the latest on Nigerians playing in various top tier leagues in Europe. The star performers over the weekend were Alex Iwobi, Kingsley Ehizibue, William Troost-Ekong, and Victor Moses. A special ranking of Nigerian exploits in Europe will be ran on spotkik in the latest future. Brace up for more positive changes coming your way.
AUSTRIA (ROUND 20)
The Austrian Bundesliga will resume in February. Meanwhile here is the latest as regards Nigerians plying their trade there as at Round 20.
Austria Vienna 2-0 Mattersburg
Ex-Flying Eagles forward, Olarenwanju Kayode, continued his consistent appearance for continental cup chasers, Austria Vienna. He lasted the entire encounter in their home win over Mattersburg. Kayode is among the top scorers in the Tipico Bundesliga, with 7 goals and 1 assist. Vienna, is placed a position below European qualification, with Altach, Salzburg and Sturm Graz on the top the league table in that order.
Relatively unknown forward, Bright Edomwonyi, is no longer with Sturm Graz, as he just made a winter move to Turkish top tier side, Caykur Rizespor. Before his transfer to Turkey, Bright scored 4 goals and bagged 3 assists for Graz.
BELGIUM (ROUND 22)
After a long recess since December 27th, 2016, the Jupiler Pro League resumed Friday last week. Here is a review of Nigerian players in the Belgian top tier:*
Gent 1-0 Charleroi
Gent welcomed Super Eagles defense trojan, William Troost-Ekong back from loan with a starting spot and full game. Ekong likewise rewarded Gent for the experience he gained while away on loan by marshaling the defense much to the dismay of visiting Charleroi. He helped Gent hold on to a slim victory. K.A.A Gent also gave 19-year old new recruit, Samuel Kalu the same privilege as Ekong. However, Gent’s other Nigerian stars, Moses Simon, Anderson Esiti, and Rabiu Ibrahim were handed limited or no action. Simon, on his part, started and lasted 64 minutes on the pitch before he was replaced. Whereas, Esiti sat out the entire encounter. Rabiu Ibrahim, was not listed on match-day.
Waasland Beveren 0-1 Oostende
Joseph Akpala’s Oostende got a narrow win on the road to Waasland. Akpala did his little bit for Oostende, after he was introduced in the dying minutes of the encounter.
Eupen 0-1 Genk
Eupen, boasting of 3 Nigerian players in their match-day squad could not get the better of Genk, as they suffered a narrow loss at home. In form teen sensation, Henry Onyekuru lasted the entire encounter, but could not add to his tally of 10 goals. Anthony Bassey (Eupen) got to taste action after he was introduced in the 65th minute. Eupen’s other Nigerian representative, Anthony Bassey, was confined to the bench.
Kortrijk 2-3 Waregem
Kingsley Madu finally suited up for visiting Waregem as he was introduced from the bench in the 77th minute, with scores standing at 2-2. Waregem got the better of Kortrijk later on after the winner was scored from the penalty spot in the 79th.
CROATIA (ROUND 20)
The Croatian HNL 1. will resume in February. Meanwhile here is the latest as regards Nigerians plying their trade there as at Round 20.
Rijeka 1-0 Istra 1961
Ex Flying Eagles trainee, and Istra Number 9, Theophilus Solomon clocked 90 minutes, but failed to score in their away loss to Goodness Ajayi’s Rijeka. Ajayi was subbed in on the 74th minute. Theophilus has 5 goals credited to him so far this season, whereas, Ajayi has none.
ENGLAND (ROUND 22)
Crystal Palace 0-1 Everton
19-year old Ademola Lookman showed poise in his second outing for Everton after he was introduced from the bench in the 72nd minute. Everton later went on – in the 87th – to steal all maximum points away to Palace when Tom Davies teed up Seamus Coleman (Everton) inside the box. Coleman slammed the ball into the roof of the net, past Crystal Palace goalie, Wayne Hennessey.
Arsenal 2-1 Burnley
Alex Iwobi, followed his Man-of-the-Match performance in the previous week, with another fine start, but later made way for Francis Coquelin in the 69th minute in what seemed like a tactical change after Grant Xhaka (Arsenal) was sent off earlier for a bad tackle. The Gunners, leading by a loan goal relinquished their lead via an Andre Gray (Burnley) spot-kick in extra time. It seemed Wenger’s men had just blown a chance to go second on the log, until Alexis Sanchez snatched the winner in the 7th minute of extra time after also converting from the penalty spot.
West Brom 2-0 Sunderland
Victor Anichebe’s return from injury did little to prevent Sunderland from a loss away to West Brom. Anichebe started from the bench in the 66th minute.
Bournemouth 2-2 Watford
The Hornets came to Dean Court(Bournemouth) with the intention of making up for their slip at home to Middlesbrough in the previous round. Their intentions were clear as they led at stoppage of the first half — thanks to Christian Kabasele’s 24th minute strike. Captain, Troy Deeney restored their lead on the 64th after Joshua King (Bournemouth) leveled earlier. King made way for Nigeria descent, Jordan Ibe in the 74th. Bournemouth drew level again through Benik Afobe. Watford, desperate to get the maximum points, pulled Odion Ighalo from the bench in the 88th minute but to no avail. Watford – still missing the services of Success Isaac due to injury – had to settle for a second consecutive draw.
Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham Hotspurs **(MATCH OF THE WEEK)**
The Citizens were greeted with a tough fixture in Spurs, after they suffered one of their worse defeat in recent times in the previous round to Everton. City did not list Kelechi Iheanacho for no clear reasons, but Kelechi’s absence could suspiciously be linked to the presence of new signing, Brazilian forward, Gabriel Jesus, who was not brought in until late. Pep seemed to have given his boys some super pep talk after a goal-less half time, as they responded immediately after resumption with two quick goals. But it took Nigeria decent, Dele Alli and a controversial Seon Ming strike to put Spurs level and steal an exciting draw at Etihad. With this feat, Spurs have proved that they are serious threats for the title — but they still have a hot chase to make. Chelsea will now have to capitalize on this result to stretch their lead on the log to 9 points clear.
Southampton 3-0 Leicester City
Claudio Ranieri’s men suffered a second consecutive defeat at St. Mary’s Stadium (Southampton). However, their new acquisition, Wilfried Ndidi stood out among the Foxes with a whoscored.com rating of 7.4. He followed his debut outing with another full shit appearance. Ahmed Musa however, started from the bench Leicester, coming in to replace Japanese forward Shinji Okazaki in the 64th minute. Musa is still yet to add to his Premier League goals tally of 2.
Chelsea 2-0 Hull City
Victor Moses, worked another 90 minutes shift in the log leaders’ home win over Hull City. Moses contributed immensely to Chelsea stretching their lead to 8 points clear in the table when he burst past Andy Robertson (Hull City) to provide a fine pass for Diego Costa to score the opener. Gary Cahill later headed home, unmarked, to put a nail on the stubborn visitor’s coffin.
Liverpool 2-3 Swansea
The Reds did not list Ovie Ejaria on match day, in what culminated in an upset at Anfield. Roberto Firmino gave the home fans some hope after his double pulled Liverpool level. But a Gylfi Sigurdsson strike in the 74th minutes handed struggling Swansea City the shock win..
FRANCE (ROUND 21)
Lille were held to another draw by home team, Dijon. Vincent Enyeama posted a shutout for Lille.
St. Etiene 2-1 Angers
Dickson Nwakaeme returned to Ligue 1 action with Angers on the road to St. Etiene, as a 78th minute substitute. His introduction did not yield dividends, as the home team maintained their lead till the end of regulation time.
GERMANY (ROUND 17)
FSV Mainz 0-0 Köln
Leon Balogun and Karim Onisiwo’s Mainz was held at home by visiting Koln. While Onisiwo was not included in the match day squad due to unstated reasons, Balogun was out due to a thigh injury.
Darmstadt 0-0 B. Monchengladbach
Obinna Nsofor was unlisted by Darmstadt in their home draw with Borrusia Monchengladbach.
ITALY (ROUND 21)
Bologna 2-0 Torino
There was no Nigerian in action when Bologna beat visiting Torino. Bologna-loanee, and Dream Team VI forward, Sadiq Umar is still out due to injury. Whereas their other Nigerian, Flying Eagles youngster, Orji Okonkwo, did not make it out of the dugout. Joel Obi was also an unused substitute for Torino.
Genoa 2-2 Crotone
Simeon ‘Simy’ Tochukwu’s Crotone was away to Genoa, but they kept their number 99 shirted player out of action, forcing a score draw.
NETHERLANDS (ROUND 19)
Nijmegen 2-0 Roda
Abdul Ajagun no doubt has become a super regular for Roda since joining the modest Eredivisie outfit. He definitely deserves a look in to provide more competition for the number 10 spot in the Super Eagles. However, he fell with his side away to Taiwo Awoniyi’s Nijmegen over the weekend, thanks to a Gregor Breinburg double spot-kick. Taiwo who wears the number shirt for Nijmegen, remained in bench throughout the encounter.
Alkmaar 1-1 Sparta Rotterdam
Fred Friday was an unused substitute for Alkmaar in their home score draw with Sparta Rotterdam.
den Haag 1-2 Zwolle
It was a battle between two young players of Nigerian decent (still yet to be capped by Nigeria). 21 year old Kingsley Ehizibue leveled for Zwolle in the 38th minute, but made way for Brock-Madesen in the 56th. However, den Haag kept Super Eagles target, Tyronne Ebuehi on the pitch all through out the encounter. Visitors, Zwolle ran away with all maximum points.
Feyenoord 1-0 Willem II
Former Super Eagles forward, Bartholomew Ogbeche was unlisted by Willem II as they fell away to Feyenoord.
PORTUGAL (ROUND 18)
Feirense 1-0 Estoril
Oghenekaro Etebo is still set to undergo a second scan after an injury scare, which necessitated his absence in Feirense’s home win over Estoril. In his place Feirense promoted unknown 19-year old Nigerian forward, Iduitua Deba David, from their U-19 squad. However, the teenager was not introduced to the encounter.
Belenenses 1-2 Vitoria Setubal
New rave of the moment, Mikel Ndubuisi Agu was on for the entire encounter in the heart of Setubal’s defensive-midfield position as they beat Belenenses on the road. Mikel Agu has been a super regular for Setubal since his loan move from Porto FC. He has been named three times in the Primeira Liga Team of The Week.
RUSSIA (ROUND 17)
The Russian Premier League will resume in March. The league has been on recess since December last year. Here is an update as of December 5th, 2016
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 19)
Espanyol 3-1 Granada
Uche Agbo (Granada) lost away to Espanyol without the Nigerian, who served out a match ban due to the red card he picked up the previous weekend.
TURKEY (ROUND 18)
Osmanlispor 1-2 Antalyaspor
Aminu Umar fired blanks despite playing all 90 minutes for Osmanlispor against visiting Antalyaspor. It was an all Cameroonian affair in the scoresheet. Firstly, veteran Pierre Webo put the homers ahead in the first half. Compatriots Mbilla Etame and three time CAF player of the year, Samuel Eto’o rallied to pull a comeback win for the visitors.
Alanyaspor 1-4 Besiktas
Alanyaspor’s Keneth Omeruo was conspicuously missing on match-day squad, as they fell to at home to Turkish powerhouse, Besiktas. Besiktas now assume pole position of the Turkish Super Lig — two points clear of second place Istanbul Baseksehir.
Konyaspor 2-1 Rizespor
Godfrey Oboabona seems to have won his place back in the starting lineup for Rizespor. But they fell away to Konyaspor over the weekend. Rizespor’s other Nigerian, and former Sturm Graz (Austria) forward, Bright Edomwonyi, was introduced in the 66th minute. The latter, later received a caution in the stroke of time.
Kasimpasa 0-1 Trabzonspor
Ogenyi Onazi lasted the entire encounter, as he helped his Trabzonspor beat Samuel Eduok and Kenny Otigba’s Kasimpasa away. Eduok was subbed in at the 72nd minute, but he got a booking a minute later. Super Eagles hopeful, and former Hungarian junior defender, Kenny Otigba, remained in the bench once again.
Fernabahce 1-0 Baseksehir
Musa Muhammad’s Istanbul Baseksehir fell away to Emmanuel Emenike’s Fernabahce. Both players were not listed for the encounter.