SPOTKIK TEAM OF THE WEEK (MAR ’17 WEEK 2)
Late Super Eagles call up Olarenwaju Kayode (Our Player of the Week) retain his place in our team of the week after scoring for the second consecutive round. Gent’s trio of Samuel Kalu, Moses Simon and Troost-Ekong (displaces Oboabona) made our team of the week for the prominent role they played in the trashing of Mechelen. Kalu thereby retain his place from last week. Premier League players a missing due to FA Cup fixtures. Hence, Fegor Ogude takes Ndidi’s place for his all match action against Russian powerhouse Zenit. Teammate Brian Idowu retain his place as the Nigeria’s best left-back at the moment. Ebuehi also keep his place in right-back. Otigba displaces Omeruo, who scored an own goal during the weekend. Retired Victor Enyeama remains our best option between the sticks.
We adopt Gernot Rohr’s favorite formation, the 4-2-3-1, in our pick.
AUSTRIA (ROUND 25)
Austria Vienna 3-0 AC Wolfsberger
Austria Vienna has put six unanswered goals past their opponents in the last two rounds. Super Eagles new invitee, Olarenwaju Kayode, who only got his first invitation to Nigeria’s senior national team as a replacement for injured teen, Victor Osihmen, scored his second consecutive goal in two league games to put a nail in the coffins of visitiors Wolfsberger. The Nigerian only representative in the Austrian top tier has now scored nine goals so far in the 2016/17 season.
BELGIUM (ROUND 30)
Eupen 1-3 Waregem
Kingsley Madu remained in his familiar dugout position for Waregem as they conquered the Nigerian trio of Henry Onyekuru, Jamabo George, and Anthony Bassey at Kehrwegstadion (Eupen). However, instead of Madu, it was relatively unknown 19 year-old Aliko Bala who suited again for the visitors in the dot of 90 minutes. In the side of Eupen, Onyekuru started but was uncharacteristically unimpressive in front of the home fans and was pulled off in the 77th minute. Jamabo started and lasted the distance, whereas, Bassey was not suited up by Eupen.
Gent 3-0 K.V. Mechelen
K.A.A Gent put their loss to fellow Jupiler league team, Genk at the Europa Cup by recording a resounding victory over visiting Mechelen. Nigerians locked horns again in this encounter. While Ighodaro Osaguona‘s cameo for the visitors proved futile, Gent’s parade of all five Nigerians in their roaster paid off immensely. All their Nigerian imports started and completed the match, except Rabiu Ibrahim who joined the fray in the 76th minute. Samuel Kalu on his part, has instantly become Gent’s rave of the moment as he scored for the second consecutive time for Eupen. This time it was fellow Nigerian international, Moses Simon who provided a nice assist. Kalu has now scored three goals for Gent since joining them from Trencin of Slovakia. However, it was Japanese, Yuya Kubo, who stole the headline taking the ball from the center of the field all the way as he tricked his way through a crowed of five defenders in a Messi-like fashion to slot away Gent’s second. Anderson Esiti and William Troost-Ekong were the other Nigerians who were in action mode throughout the encounter. Troost-Ekong was cautioned in the 31’st minute.
St. Liege 2-2 Oostende
Joseph Akpala rewarded the visitors for giving him a starting berth away to St. Liege by putting Oostende two goals up just after the break. St. Liege fought back to level, thanks to Algeria’s Ishak Belfodil’s double.
CROATIA (ROUND 24)
Cibalia 0-2 Istra 1961
Theophilus Solomon finally got his first goal of the year by scoring Istra’s first as early as the sixth minute, in their victory at Cibalia. Solomon lasted for 85 minutes before substitution proceedings. The former Golden Eaglets trainee is placed 12th in the Croatian 1.HNL top scorers log with six goals.
Hajduk Split 1-1 Rijeka
Rijeka maintained their unbeaten run so far this season after they forced Hajduk Split away without Goodness Ajayi in their line up.
Everton 3-0 West Brom
Ademola Lookman was overlooked by Everton as they traded tackles with Tottenham Hotspurs at White Hart Lane. Spurs eventually got the upper hand in the five-goal thriller, through a Dele Alli winner.
Liverpool 2-1 Burnley
Ovie Ejaria‘s injury picked up in their FA cup tie with Wolves has still kept him away from Liverpools matchday squad. Liverpool recorded a slim victory over visiting Burnley to remain in the top 4 of the EPL log.
Bournemouth 3-2 West Ham
Jordan Ibe’s Bournemouth’s overcame visitors, West Ham after awkwardly missing two penalty kick opportunities. it was Joshua King, one of the earlier culprits, who stole show by handing the Cherries victory with his first career hat trick. Ibe remained in the dugout throughout the encounter.
Chelsea Vs Watford (Postponed)
Arsenal Vs Leicester City (Postponed)
Middlesbrough Vs Sunderland (Postponed)
Southampton Vs Manchester City (Postponed)
FRANCE (ROUND 29)
Nancy 1-2 Lille
Vincent Enyeama‘s Lille avoided loss a second consecutive time on the road. This time they stole the maximum points in the expense of homers, Nancy — Enyeama proving to be Lille’s ever reliable safe hand.
Marseille 3-0 Angers
Angers could not replicate their away form at Caen in the previous round as they fell this time to Marseille without injured Anthony Nwakaeme.
GERMANY (ROUND 24)
Darmstadt 2-1 FSV Mainz 1
Leon Balogun returned to Mainz’ matchday squad after a long injury lay off but was not introduced from the bench. Mainz fell to Darmstadt away also without Karim Onisiwo, who was not listed due to illness.
RB Leipzig 0-1 Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg’s did just fine without injured Victor Osihmen as they stole a win at Liepzig.
GREECE (ROUND 24)
Kerkyra 1-0 Xanthi FC
Unknown Nigerian forward, Ifeanyi Onyilov, was listed but unused by Kerkyra, as they beat visitors, Xhanti.
Olympiakos Piraeus 2-0 Atromitos
Abiola Dauda‘ fired blanks despite be in the forefront of action for Atromitos all encounter, in their loss away to Olympiakos.
ITALY (ROUND 28)
Sassuolo 0-1 Bologna
Sadiq Umar and Orji Okonkwo were both not part of Bologna’s first win since January. The former made Bologna’s squad but was not introduced.
Lazio 3-1 Torino
Joel Obi is still yet to shake off his thigh injury as he was again unlisted in Torino’s loss away to Lazio
Napoli 3-0 Crotone
Simeon ‘Simy’ Tochukwu did not taste action for Crotone, as they were trashed away to Napoli.
NETHERLANDS (ROUND 26)
Den Haag 1-0 Nijmegen
New Super Eagles invitee Tyronne Ebuehi lasted the entire encounter and received a booking as he helped ADO den Haag record their first win after along string of losses, and the previous round’s draw with Utretcht. Taiwo Awoniyi was not listed for the encounter, however, little known Nigerian-decent, and teammate, Arnaut Danjuma was brought in by Nijmegen in the 67th minute of play.
Willem II 2-0 Zwolle
Nigerian descent and Dutch-born Kingsley Ehizibue, started for Zwolle and lasted only 40 minutes in their loss away to Willem II. While Bartholomew Ogbeche was missing for Willem due to a knee injury, Nigerian-decent, and Belgium-born, Funso Ojo lasted for the entire encounter for Willem II.
Feyenoord 5-2 AZ Alkmaar
Fred Friday could not prevent away team, Alkmaar from falling against Fayenoord. Alkmaar gave a decent fight but did not introduce Friday until the 77th minute of play.
Roda 3-1 Groningen
Abdul Ajagun opened the floodgates of goals for Roda in the 31st minute when he connected Mikhael Rosheuvel’s long range cross from the right wing with his head to power home beyond the grips of Groningen goalie, Sergio Padt. The former Flying Eagles captain lated 77 minutes in their win against the visitors.
Ajax 3-0 Twente
Chinedu Ede started for Twente in their away loss to Dutch powerhouse, Ajax Amsterdam, and lasted 59 minutes. The 30 year old Germany-born winger is still eligible to play for Nigeria as he only featured for Germany’s national youth teams in the past.
Utrecht 1-1 Den Haag
Den Haag recorded another draw, this time away to Utrecht. Newly Super Eagles invite, Tyronne Ebuehi, was on from start to finish in right-back for Den Haag. He however picked up a yellow card n Den Haag is at the summit of the Eredivisie table with 19 points. Excelsior (20 points) and G.A Eagles (20 points) are the other clubs currently in the relegation zone.
PORTUGAL (ROUND 25)
Vitoria Setubal 1-2 Feirense
Mikel Agu could not save Setubal at home to Feirense, as he served a match ban for accumulation of yellow cards. Oghenekaro Etebo started and lasted 73 minutes for Feirense only to be replaced by, Luis Machado, who proved the match winner by scoring in the 82nd minute
RUSSIA (ROUND 19)
UFA 1-0 FK Krylya Sovetov Samara
Neither Sylvester “Sly” Igbonu, nor Kehinde Fatai scored for UFA as the beat Samara narrowly at home. Sly started and was subbed out in the 66th minute for countryman, Fatai.
Amkar 1-0 Zenit Petersburg
Both Fegor Ogude and Brian Idowu started and lasted the entire encounter for Amkar as they beat visiting Zenit.
CSKA Moscow 4-0 Tomsk
Aaron Samuel was a 65th minute introduction for CSKA in their home whitewash of Tomsk.
SPAIN (ROUND 27)
Granada 0-1 Ath. Madrid
Uche Agbo started and lasted the entire encounter for Granada as Atletico Madrid beat The Nazaríes in their own backyard. Granada were forced to play with one man down in the fourth minute of additional time, when their Ghanaian international midfielder, Mubarak Wakaso, was giving the marching orders, after picking a second yellow.
Valencia 1-1 Gijon
Elderson Echiejile’s Gijon earned a rare draw at Valencia. But it was actually the visitors that seemed to be on their way to pulling an upset, after Daniel Parejo (Valencia) missed an earlier chance from the spot. Elderson Echiejile was brought in on the 73rd, most likely to help Gijon secure thier lead, but young Spaniard, Munir El Haddadi, scored on the 85th to save Valencia from a shocking home loss.
TURKEY (ROUND 25)
Osmanlispor 1-1 Bursaspor
Aminu Umar struck to draw Osmanlispor level with Bursaspor, after coming in at the start of the second half. The hosts were on the verge of defeat after conceding a penalty goal before the break.
Akhisar Genclik Spor 1-3 Trabzonspor
New Super Eagles vice-captain, Eddy Onazi, provided an assist to help visitors, Trabzonspor pull a big win against Akhisar, from a goal down. Onazi played all 90 minutes.
Alanyaspor 2-3 Fernerbahce
It was a bad weekend for Keneth Omeruo, who scored an own goal just after his team, Alanyaspor, took an early two goal lead at Bahcesehir Okullari Arena (Antalya). Fernerbahche fought back early and secured the winning goal as early as the 58th minute in a tension soaked encounter that saw seven yellow cards shown.
Rizespor 1-2 Antalyaspor
Rizespor fell at home with their Nigerian trio of Godfrey Oboabona, Bright Edomwonyi and Nosa Igiebor. Igiebor’s introduction in the 46th minute helped them to secure a more respectable scoreline. Oboabona and Edomwonyi both started and lasted the enitire distance.
Gaziantepspor 0-2 Kasimpasa
Kasimpasa survived after two consecutive away matches. After the previous round’s away draw, they won on the road to Kayerispor in the weekend. Kenny Otigba returned to the starting line up in the absence of super regular, Titi. Sam Emem Eduok also got Kemal Özdeş’ nod to suit up in the 73rd minute. But Eduok’s introduction did nothing to change the scoreline.
UNITED STATES (ROUND 2)
LA Galaxy 0-1 Timbers
Fanendo Adi fired blanks for Portland Timbers but he lasted the entire encounter in the win on the road to L.A. Galaxy. Teammate and Nigerian-decent Amobi Okugo, was an unused substitute.Portland’s other Nigerian, Gbenga Arokoyo, is expected to miss most of the season due to an injury he picked up pre-season
New York City 4-0 DC United
Former American U-18 forward, Sean Okoli had a taste of action for New York City in their second win of the season in as many games as they trashed visiting DC United. He was introduced in the 78th minute of play.
San Jose 3-2 Vancouver WhiteCaps
Fatai Alashe of San Jose Earthquakes started and lasted 75 minutes as they ended up victors over their visitors from Vancouver in a five-goal thriller.
Houston Dynamo 3-1 Columbus Crew
Jalil Anibaba was one of Dynamo’s unused substitutes when they beat visiting Columbus Crew. The 6ft tall 28 year old right back represented the United States at the U18 and U20 levels, and is still eligible to represent Nigeria at the senior level.
Sporting Kansas 0-0 FC Dallas
Ike Opara lasted the distance and remained in the referee’s good books as he helped Kansas record a second consecutive draw, this time at home to FC Dallas. The 28 year old central defender has represent the United States at the U20 and U23 level and is still yet get full international cap for either the United States or Nigeria.