With this episode, we start our first presentation of the SpotKiK Nigeria Team-of-the-Week. And then, a summary of the performances of Nigerians in various clubs in Europe’s top-tier, afterwards.
Also, we will give our domestic NPFL one mention in every episode. This will go to the the NPFL spotlight match of the week. Hence, our domestic league players will have a chance to be considered on our Nigeria Team-of-the-week. Other Nigerian players based in other leagues besides Europe will also be considered especially when they make headlines. Here we go! Enjoy!
- SpotKiK Nigeria Team-of-the-Week
AUSTRIA (ROUND 20)
The Austrian Bundesliga will resume in February 11th weekend. Meanwhile, here is the latest as regards Nigerians plying their trade in Austria, 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.
BELGIUM (ROUND 25)
Waregem 1-1 Gent
K.A.A Gent drew at Regenboogstadion (Waregem) in a match that saw three Nigerians in action. The home side trailing by a goal due to a Yuya Kubo (Gent) penalty, introduced Super Eagles left back Kingsley Madu in the 77th minute, but did not get the much needed equalizer until the dot of time. Waregem left their other Nigerian, 19-year old forward Aliko Bala in the dugout. Gent, on the other hand, boasting of five Nigerians in their roaster, featured only Anderson Esiti and Moses Simon during the encounter. Esiti started and lasted the enter duration of the match. Man-of-the-Match, Simon started but made way for Thomas Matton in the 83rd minute. Super Eagles dependable central defender, William Troost-Ekong was left on the bench due to a rotational policy, since he started in the previous round. Also Gent’s newly acquired forward, Samuel Kalu was left on the bench this time. Rabiu Ibrahim has been absent from Gent’s squad since the resumption of the Jupiler league this year.
Oostende 2-0 K.V. Mechelen
Joseph Akpala was a 80th minute substitue for Oostende as they beat visiting Mechelen at home — thanks to a brace of own goals. Mechelen’s former Enugu Rangers and Raja Casablanca forward, Ighodaro Osaguona made a cameo appearance coming in on the 72nd minute. It was his second appearance in the Jupiler League, his debut was a 10-minute shift last month in Mechelen’s home loss to Westerlo.
Eupen 0-2 Waasland Beveren
Henry Onyekuru returned to Eupen’s line up after several weeks of a face-off with authorities of Eupen as regards issues bothering the refusal of the club to grant Henry’s wish to join Celtics of Scotland. After a resolution between his agent and the club that he could move in the summer, he returned to Eupen’s squad and lasted the entire encounter in their loss to visiting Waasland-Beveran. A brace from Belgian forward Olivier Myny compounded the woes of Eupen who have experienced a run of bad results since the absence of Onyekuru. Eupen’s other Nigerians Jamabo George and Anthony Bassey were also listed, but the former was left in the bench throughout the duration of the encounter.
CROATIA (ROUND 20)
The Croatian HNL 1. will resume on February 17th weekend. 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 24)
Everton 6-3 Bournemouth
It was a 9-goal thriller which featured two england-born Nigerians, Ademola Lookman and Jorden Ibe, on each side. Ademola once again came on tops with Everton playing at home. He had a wonderful outing which led many Everton fans to compare him to the legendary Lionel Messi, due to his mesmerizing display on the pitch. Bournemouth’s Ibe, on his part, was introduced at the resumption of the second half while the visitors were already down by 3 goals. The floodgate of goals continued but it was Everton that ran away with the maximum points at culmination time.
Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal
The blues stretched their lead on top of the table in one of the top matches in the Premier League during the weekend, after beating title rivals, Arsenal at Standord Bridge. Nigeria had full representation on both sides of the pitch. According to Whosocred rating, Victor Moses (Chelsea) was the 3rd best player on match-day as he helped to curtail the influence of compatriot Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) to a whoscored rating of 6.2 – the third worse rating. However, it was Iwobi who lasted the entire encounter of the duo.
Crystal Palace 0-4 Sunderland
Wonders shall never end – a perfect way to describe this encounter. Bottom of the table, Sunderland came scratching with their claws when they put 4 unreplied goals past the Glaziers at Selhurst Park. Jermain Defoe proved to be one of the top strikers of the week in the Premier League by helping himself to a brace without fellow Black Cats strike partner, Nigeria’s Victor Anichebe (still out due to injury). Anichebe is not expected to be back on the pitch soon after he was ruled out for 10 weeks.
Manchester City 2-1 Swansea
Kelechi Iheanacho has been kept out of the Citizens match day squad since the arrival of preferred forward,Brazilian international, Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian has even taken it a step further, starting ahead of Argentine forward Sergio Aguero in two consecutive games. He followed up his man-of-the-match performance in the last round with another 5-star performance, scoring the brace that handed Manchester City the maximum points playing at home to Swansea. To emphasize the influence of Gabriel to the new look Pep Guardiola squad, Aguero did not taste action until the 83rd minute of the encounter.
Leicester City 0-3 Manchester United
While the arrival of Wilfried Ndidi to the Foxes have not yielded positive results going by Leicester’s string of losses, he has been the shining light of the team — he was voted the man of the match for Leicester in their loss to visiting Manchester United. After another loss, Leicester manager, Claudio Ranieri will have to tweak his tactics further in other to prevent a drop to the relegation zone. His other Nigerian recruit, Ahmed Musa started and showed some glimpses of himself when in his prime as he whizzed his way past opponents. However, Musa failed to add to his Premier League goals tally of two. Musa was subbed out for Welsh midfielder, Andy King, in the resumption of the second half in what Ranieri called a tactical decision to bolster the midfield.
Hull City 2-0 Liverpool
The only reason why we have Liverpool under review is because of their young England born midfielder, Oviemuno Ejaria. The boy has been out due to an injury. Without him, Liverpool continued their rough spell losing to homers Hull City. They now fall out of the top 3 in the log, to 5th place — just ahead of Manchester United.
Watford 2-1 Burnley
The Hornets overcame Burnley at Vicarage Road thanks to new comer Momoduou Niang and captain Troy Deeney’s goals. Nigeria’s Isaac Success was a 81st minute sub-in for Niang.
FRANCE (ROUND 23)
Lille 0-1 Lorient
Lille lost to visiting Lorient without Super Eagles retiree Vincent Enyeama in goal. The former Nigeria international captain is out due to a knee injury.
Toulouse 4-0 Angers
Dickson Nwakaeme was not listed by Angers in their woeful loss on the road to Toulouse.
GERMANY (ROUND 19)
Hoffenheim 4-0 FSV Mainz
Mainz suffered a humiliating loss in front of about 26,000 fans at Wirsol Rhein-Neckar Arena (Hoffenheim) without Leon Balogun who has been out due to a thigh injury. The 0-fives’ other Nigerian decent, Karim Onisiwo was also unlisted due to an undisclosed illness.
ITALY (ROUND 23)
Bologna 1-7 Napoli
Both Dream Team VI forward, Sadiq Umar and Golden Eaglets (Class of 2015) striker, Orji Okonkwo must have been very relieved not to be fielded in Bologna’s demoralizing loss at home, which saw them concede seven times against Napoli. Umar was listed but was not introduced. However, Okonkwo was not present on match-day.
Empoli 1-1 Torino
Joel Obi returned from injury, and was brought into the game on the 69th minute, in what seemed to be a precautionary introduction by Torino Serb manager, Siniša Mihajlović. Joel had been a regular starter for Torino before he was pulled off early after cupping an injruy in the previous round. He was booked in the 86th minute for a rough challenge. Torino went on to hold Empoli on the road.
Parlemo 1-0 Crotone
Simeon ‘Simy’ Tochukwu was an 84th minute sub-in for Crotone in their away loss to Palermo.
NETHERLANDS (ROUND 21)
Nijmegen 1-2 G.A. Eagles
Liverpool forward and former Golden Eaglets (World Champions class of 2013) striker, Taiwo Awoniyi was an unused substitute in Nijmegen’s loss at home to Go Ahead Eagles. The Nijmegen number 9 is still yet to open his account goal-wise, in the Eredivisie.
Roda 0-2 Ajax
Roda super regular, Abdul Ajagun fell with his team, to visiting Dutch powerhouse, Ajax Amsterdam. He has been one of the untouchables in The Miners’ squad.
AZ Alkmaar 2-4 PSV
Fred Friday opened his account in goals for Alkmaar in grand style, after scoring a brace in their home loss to title hopefuls PSV. Before now Friday had failed to reenact his goal scoring prowess while at Lillestrom, Norway.
Den Haag 0-2 Vitesse
No doubt, Super Eagles new right-back invitee, Tyronne Ebuehi, has been a super regular for ADO Den Haag, but his club can’t seem to get off relegation waters. After their home loss to Vitesse in the weekend, they languish in 16th position of an 18 team table, just one point better than Abdul Ajagun’s Roda JC.
Willem II 1-3 Hercules
Willem II’s forward, Bartholomew Ogbeche was unlisted in their home loss to Hercules.
Rotterdam 2-3 Zwolle
The only Nigerian decent who enjoyed a win in the Eredivisie during the weekend was Dutch-born forward, Kingsley Ehizibue who started for Zwolle but later made way for Younnes Mokhtar in the 69th minute, as they outscored Sparta Rotterdam on the road.
PORTUGAL (ROUND 20)
Feirense 2-1 Rio Ave
Feirense beat visitors, Rio Ave without CAF Most Promising Talent 2015, Oghenekaro Etebo, who is still recuperating from injury. Feirense’s other Nigerian first-teamer, Iduitua Deba David was conspicuously missing from their match-day squad.
Arouca 2-1 Vitoria Setubal
Mikel Ndubuisi Agu followed his man-of-the-match performance in their giant-killing win over Benfica in the previous round with a loss away to Arouca. As usual, he lasted the entire encounter for the Vitórianos. Setubal were outdone by a brace from Cape Verdean forward, Kuca.
RUSSIA (ROUND 17)
The Russian Premier League will resume on the weekend of March 3rd. 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 21)
Granada 1-0 Las Palmas
Uche Agbo returned to Granada’s starting line up after serving a two match ban. He was cautioned in the 52nd minute in their home win over Las Palmas, but he lasted the entire encounter as he helped lift Granada from the rock bottom of the league table to 19th place ahead of bottom team, Osasuna.
TURKEY (ROUND 19)
There were no league games in the Super Lig due to Turkish Cup fixtures. Meanwhile, here is a review from the previous round of matches. Meanwhile, former Flying Eaglet (Class of 2015) captain, Musa Muhammad has been loaned to FK Željezničar (Bosnia). Hence we will not feature Istanbul Baseksehir on this column until his recall to the parent club.
Genclerbirligi 1-1 Osmanlispor
Aminu Umar started and lasted fired blanks after starting for Osmanlispor in their draw against away team, Genclerbirligi. He was replaced in the 75h minute.
Antalyaspor 2-1 Alanyaspor
Keneth Omeruo’s Alanyaspor fell to Antalyaspor away. Cameroonian legend, Samuel Eto’o, provided all the goals for the rivals, despite missing an earlier penalty-kick opportunity. Omeruo made way for Dutch forward, Glynor Plet in the 79th minute.
Rizespor 1-0 Kardemir K.
Godfrey Oboabona won his way back to Rizespor’s starting line up, lasting for the entire duration as they beat visiting Kardemir Karabuk. Whereas, Rizespor’s new Nigerian recruit, Bright Edomwonyi, was an 81st minute substitute. Rizespor also acquired another Nigerian, out of favor Super Eagles midfielder, Nosa Igiebor before the close of the transfer window. He is expected to make his debut in the next round of Super Lig matches.
Adanaspor 2-0 Kasimpasa
The duo of Kenny Otigba and Sam Eduok both lost with Kasimpasa on the road to Adanaspor. Eduok was a 77th minute substitute, but Otigba was confined to the bench throughout the match. The latter’s latest lack of playing time for club will not help his case in his bid for a call up to the Super Eagles.
Trabzonspor 4-0 Gaziantepspor
Ogenyi Onazi started for homers, Trabzonspor, and lasted 66 minutes in thier whitewashing of Gaziantepspor. The Nigerian defensive midfielder was cautioned in the 44th minute of the encounter.
Kayserispor 4-1 Fernabahce
It is still unclear whether Emmanuel Emenike eventually managed to seal a move away from Fernabahce during the transfer window. But he has long fell out favor with management and fans of the Yellow Canary . He was as expected, absent in their loss away to Kayserispor.
Baseksehir 1-0 Bursaspor
Musa Muhammad’s Istanbul Baseksehir maintained their second spot in the Super Lig, behind leaders Besiktas, despite beating Bursaspor at home without the young Nigerian right-back.