BELGIUM (ROUND 4)
The Fourth round of matches were concluded over the weekend, with major leagues in Europe just getting the new season to a start. We will review the performances of Nigerians in Belgium leading to the most recent round of matches:
St. Liege 0-4 Waregem
Nigerian defensive midfielder, Uche Agbo, made his fourth start for the home team in a humiliating fashion, as they suffered a heavy defeat to Zulte Waregem. Agbo did a full shift for Standard Liege for the third time this season. Waregem which has fellow Nigerians, Kingsley Madu, Aliko Bala, and Gent loanee Peter Olayinka, fired all cylinders after the break, scoring all four goals. The latter contributed to two of the goals. The first, an assist in the 65th minute. Olayinka later scored his first goal of the season, and Waregem’s third of the match, in the 73rd minute of play. Unlike Olayinka, Bala and Madu are yet to get their first mention of the season on Waregem’s matchday squad. Olayinka now has one goal and six assists for Waregem since his loan move from KAA Gent.
Eupen 2-1 Oostende
Joseph Akpala (Oostende) made his fourth consecutive appearance this season from the bench in Oostende’s away loss to Eupen. Jamabo George, on the other hand, have remained on the bench despite making Eupen’s matchday squad in all four rounds. Jamabo’s former teammates, Henry Onyekuru, and Anthony Bassey are currently with Anderlecht (Belgium) and Al-Sadd (Qatar) respectively.
Anderlecht 2-3 St. Truiden
New Super Eagles invitee, Henry Onyekuru played his second full game for Anderlecht as they lost their second consecutive league game to visitors, St. Truiden. Onyekuru has not found the net this season, despite topping the goal scorers log in his first season. However, it was Onyekuru’s effort versus Oostende, that provided a rebound opportunity for Anderlecht to score in what has proved to be their only win so far this season.
Kortrijk 1-2 Club Brugge
Nigerian teen star, Dennis Bonaventure, was conspicuously missing from the visitor’s line up. But Bonaventure’s absence did not deter Blauw-Zwart from maintaining their 100% record. Super Eagles reject, Abduljaleel Ajagun did not get the chance to face his compatriot, as he made a fourth consecutive full shift for Kortrijk. Ajagun has been cautioned twice since his move away from Roda JC of Holland. Bonaventure, on the other hand, is the joint top scorer alongside Belgian 23 year old Zinho Gano. Both players have four goals after four games, but the Belgian has the advantage with one assist.
Mouscron 3-2 Gent
Taiwo Awoniyi followed up his excellent debut performance after scoring last week to help Mouscron to an away win against Lokeren, with a fine assist to help his team beat Moses Simon, Anderson Esiti, and Samuel Kalu‘s Gent. Awoniyi with his back to goal and excellent ball control, laid a brilliant pass for Mexico’s Omar Govea who fired a screamer to draw Mouscron 2-2 level in the 84th minute. The homers where down by two goals before the break. Gent brought in Esiti in the 46th minute to help preserve their lead but to no avail. Mouscron rallied to score the winner through Bolingi, who also missed from the spot in the dying minutes. Simon and Kalu both did a full shift for Gent.
CROATIA (ROUND 6)
Rijeka 2-1 Lok. Zagreb
Croatian champions, without Goodness Ajayi in action defeated visitors Lokomotive Zagreb. Ajayi remained in the dugout throughout the encounter. The 22 year old forward, however, was not listed in the Champions League qualification loss to Olympiacos.
ENGLAND (ROUND 2)
Swansea 0-4 Manchester United
England U21 forward, Kevin Oghenetega Tamaraebi Bakumo-Abraham, known simply as Tammy Abraham, who is very much on the radar of the NFF, made his second start for Swansea this season as they lost to rampaging Manchester United.He was pulled off after 82nd minutes in their loss. Abraham is yet to register a goal after two games, but just recently has expressed his dream to win the Ballon D’Or someday.
Liverpool 1-0 Crystal Palace
England’s U20 golden ball winner, Dominic Solanke made a second appearance from the bench for Liverpool as they labored to a slim win against visiting Palace. Solanke was pulled from the bench in the 71st minute, two minutes before the game winner by Senegalese Sadio Mane. Ovie Ejaria was not listed for the game. Both players will remain on our radar until they are capped by the senior team of England.
Manchester City 1-1 Everton
Ademola Lookman sat it out for the entire duration of the game, as he watched his Everton side threaten to steal a win away at City. Lookman was a member of England’s World Conquering U20 team. He has indicated intention to progress to the Three Lions. However, the Nigerian-descent would remain on our radar until his wishes come true.
Bournemouth 0-2 Watford
England youth international, and Nigeria hopeful, Jordan Ibe started for Bournemouth in their home loss to Isaac Success‘ Watford. Ibe lasted 60 minutes before he was subbed out. Success, made the Hornet’s bench for the first time this season, but was not fielded.
Tottenham 1-2 Chelsea
Victor Moses returned to the Blues’s starting lineup after serving a one-match ban for the red card he picked up in their FA loss to Arsenal last season. His presence away to Spurs propelled Chelsea back to winning ways, as he continued from where he stopped last season marshaling Chelsea’s right side.
Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal
Alex Iwobi was introduced in the 79th minute by Arsene Wenger, as Arsenal tried to get back in the game away to Stoke, but to no avail.
Leicester City 2-0 Brighton
Wilfred Ndidi started and completed the encounter two rounds in a row for Leicester. He lasted throughout in their season opener loss to Arsenal, and he was again involved for the entire period in their win over newcomers Brighton in the second round of matches. Kelechi Iheanacho did not make Leicester’s match day squad due to a toe injury. Ahmed Musa was also missing. Rumor has it, that the Super Eagles petit winger will be loaned to Championship side, Hull City.
FRANCE (ROUND 3)
SCO Angers has parted ways with 31 year old forward Dickson Nwakaeme. We will monitor the transfer of the player who is now a free agent. Dickson and Anthony Nwakaeme are brothers
Lille 0-2 Caen
Vincent Enyeama has been out due to injury since the start of the Ligue 1 2017-18 campaign. Lille’s second choice keeper, 22 year old Mike Maignan of France, served out the red card he picked up in the previous round. In the absence of both goalkeepers, Herve Koffi from Burkina Faso stepped up to take charge of the goal post in their loss to visiting Caen..
Troyes 0-1 Nantes
After initially starting his Ligue 1 campaign as a late substitute in their loss to Lille, and earning rave reviews, Chidozie Awaziem worked a full shift for Nantes in their subsequent match as a right full back when they lost again to visiting Masseille. He followed that performance with another start during the weekend. But the defender failed to complete the encounter after he was sent off for a bad challenge in the 34th minute. Although one man down, Nantes went on to pip Troyes away from home, to earn their first points this season. It appears Awaziem is still in the plans of Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, should we go by the rumors that the 21 year old is among those invited for the double header against Cameroon in Russia 2018 World Cup qualification.
GERMANY (ROUND 1)
FSV Mainz 0-1 Hannover
Leon Balogun started the season in bench as he watched his teammates lose to visiting Hannover. Austrian-Nigerian forward, Karim Onisiwo was also left on Mainz’s dugout during the encounter. The visitors has Super Eagles hopeful Noah-Joel Sarenren-Bazee in their roaster. The 21 year old winger who was recently cleared by FIFA to play for Nigeria, is currently out due to an injury he picked up during pre-season.
Wolfsburg 0-3 Dortmund
Victor Osimhen did not take part in Wolfsburg’s loss to visiting Borussia Dortmund, despite being listed in their matchday Squad. Captain of Wolfsburg, Mario Gomez, fired blanks during the encounter. Osimhen is said to be Gomez’s understudy.
Hertha Berlin 2-0 VfB Stuttgart
Jordan Torunarigha was an 88 minute sub-in for Hertha Berlin in their home win over Stuttgart. The 20 year old left back is still yet to commit between Germany and Nigeria.
Hoffenheim 1-0 Werder Bremen
Kevin Akpoguma, whose loan to Dusseldorf just ended, has been retained by parent club Hoffenheim for the season. However, he was missing in action in their home win versus Werder Bremen. The Germany-born defender, who can play in all positions at the back, is said to be on his way to regaining full fitness. Kevin is still eligible to represent the Super Eagles.
GREECE (ROUND 1)
Kerkyra 0-1 Panionios
Unknown Nigerian forward, Ifeanyi Onyilo, is no longer with Kerkyra. He is now a player of Al-Faisaly, Saudi Arabia.
Former Flying Eagles midfielder, Michael Olaitan is now a free agent. We will be monitoring the move of the former Panionios forward.
Olympiacos 4-1 AEL Larissa
Super Eagles retiree, Emmanuel Emenike was missing in action when Olympiacos trashed visitors, Larissa. Emenike is out due to muscle tear. He last played for Olympiacos when he scored after he was introduced few minutes to the end in their UEFA Champions League qualification win over Partizan Belgrade. He was not introduced from the bench in the reverse fixture.
Atromitos 1-1 Smyrnis
Abiola Dauda fired blanks despite spearheading the attack for Atromitos all encounter, as they were held by visiting Smyrnis. The former Vitesse of Netherlands striker has never been considered by Super Eagles handlers.
Xanthi FC 0-0 Lamia
Relatively unknown, Suleiman Akim Omolade, was on from start to finish for the visitors in their barren draw with Xanthi. The 31 year old defensive midfielder was cautioned in the 89th minute of play.
ITALY (ROUND 1)
Bologna 1-1 Torino
AS Roma loanee, Sadiq Umar did not feature for Torino against former loan club Bologna. The tie which ended in a score draw, saw his new teammate Joel Obi feature prominently as he helped Torino draw level in the 34th minute with an assist of his own. Joel is hoping to return to the Super Eagles fold, and has been on fire since pre-season. Orji Okonkwo, however, was the only unlisted Nigerian for the tie. Okonkwo is in the books of Bologna.
Crotone 0-3 AC Millan
Simeon ‘Simy’ Tochukwu was one of Crotone’s unused substitutes when they fell apart to visiting AC Milan.
Samdoria 2-1 Benevento
Samdoria has Nigerian U23 left back, Stanley Amuzie in their youth set up. We will be keeping tabs with the player’s development.
NETHERLANDS (ROUND 2)
Utrecht 2-0 Willem II
Super Eagles hopeful Cyriel Dessers scored his 3rd goal of the season — having scored a brace in the first round against ADO Den Haag– as his Utrecht overcame Willem II with the same scoreline as last season. The 22 year old Belgium-born forward is reportedly in contact with NFF, with the hope of a first call up to the Nigerian senior team. Former Super Eagles striker, Bartholomew Ogbeche, was missing from Willem’s match day squad due to a ligament injury. His return date is unknown.
Nigerian decent, Funso Ojo is no longer with Willem II, as he has made the switch to English third tier, Scunthorpe United.
Sparta 1-1 Zwolle
Holland-born Kingsley Ehizibue was on for the entire encounter at Zwolle’s right-back, when they travelled to Rotterdam to force a draw.
AZ Alkmaar 2-0 Den Haag
Fred Friday was a 74th minute sub-in for Alkmaar as they defeated visitors Den Haag. Super Eagles new right-back, Tyrone Ebuehi was on from start to finish for Den Haag.
Chinedu Ede is no longer with Twente. The 30 year old German-Nigerian attacker moved to Bangkok United of Thailand on a free transfer.
PORTUGAL (ROUND 3)
Feirense 2-0 Ferreira
Oghenekaro Etebo headed home from a long range cross on the right flank to put Feirense up in the 32nd minute. The Super Eagles midfielder who played as an arrowhead striker in Feirense’s last fixtures, was deployed to his familiar left wing role in this one. He lasted the entire encounter in the home win over Ferreira, which marked their first win of the season, having drawn the previous. Former Golden Eaglets goalkeeper, Dele Alampasu, was on Feirense’s bench as the second choice keeper. The Super Eagles understudy keeper wears the club’s number one shirt which signifies he won’t be leaving anytime soon. Both players are expected to make Gernot Rohr’s list for the upcoming World Cup Qualification double header with Cameroon.
Rio Ave 2-0 Portimonense
Portimonense lost for a second consecutive time. This time away to Rio Ave with former Golden Eaglets (Class of 2013), Chidiera Ezeh, making his second appearance this season from the bench, in the 89th minute. The 19 year old forward made his Liga NOS debut in the 87th minute of their home win over Boavista to start their 2017-18 campaign. He was an unused sub in their loss to Braga.
Tondela 2-3 Estoril
Relatively unknown Nigerian 20 year old defender, Juiour Pius, was missing from Tondela’s line up when they lost to visiting Estoril. The player’s name had popped up in the previous two round of matches this season. The central defender was acquired from Sanjoanense, a Portuguese third tier side, just a month ago. Tondela is still yet to record a win this season, their only point coming from a draw with Feirense in the first round.
RUSSIA (ROUND 7)
Dynamo Moscow 1-1 UFA
Nigerian forward pair, Kehinde Fatai and Sylvester “Sly” Igbonu led UFA’s forward line as they forced an away draw at Dynamo Moscow. Both players started the encounter, but Kehinde was subbed out just after 90 minutes of play. Super Eagles out of favor forward, Sly, has a goal to his credit, which he scored in the third round, versus Ural. Both players have been leading UFA’s two-prong attack line so far this season.
Amkar 0-1 Zenit
Forgotten Super Eagles midfielder, Fegor Ogude was missing from Amkar’s line up due to a groin injury. Teammate, Brian Idowu, however, started and lasted the distance but was cautioned in the 62nd minute in their home loss to Zenit Petersburg. Idowu is still yet to commit internationally to Russia.
Ural 0-0 CSKA Moscow
Aaron Samuel started but did not last after 52 minutes when he was substituted out by CSKA. The game at Ural ended up in a stalemate. It has been rumored that Samuel will make his return to the Super Eagles list for the Cameroon crunch tie.
SPAIN (ROUND 1)
Girona 2-2 Athletic Madrid
Super Eagles new invitee, Olaranwaju Kayode, made an immediate debut for Girona from the bench on the 84th minute, as they welcomed Spanish giants Athletic Madrid. Girona could not hold on to their double lead as Madrid came rallying back. The Manchester City loanee was introduced while Girona was still one goal up, but their opponents leveled a minute later. Kayode tried to put Girona back ahead in the 92nd minute but his cross could only force a corner, which Girona failed to capitalize on.
TURKEY (ROUND 2)
Bursaspor 3-2 Alanyaspor
Bursaspor with three Nigerians on their roaster, overcame visitors Alanyaspor in a five-goal thriller. Super Eagles pair of William Troost-Ekong and Mikel Agu where on for the Super Lig new entrants from start to finish. Paschal Onyedika Okoli, however remained in the home team’s bench. The relatively unknown Nigerian defender is just 19 years old.
Sivasspor 2-0 Yeni Malatyaspor
Dream Team VI and Super Eagles forgotten central midfielder, Azubuike Okechukwu continued to marshall Malatyaspor’s midfield position after helping them gain promotion to the Super Liga just last season. He was on, from start to finish, but got cautioned in the 88th minute in his club’s loss away to Elderson Echiejile‘s Sivasspor. Elderson followed up with his debut in the first round with another start for the home side. The Super Eagles left-back was clearly the best defender on the pitch. He not only assisted Ivorian forward, Arouna Kone to open Sivasspor’s account in the 41st minute, but also prevented the visitors from scoring when he cleared a goal-bound effort off the line. Malatyaspor also had Dream Team VI defender, Sincere Seth Muenfuh on their line-up, as one of their unused subs. Forgotten Super Eagles midfielder, Sunday Mba appears not to be in Malatyaspor’s plans for the season. However, Mba was listed in their season opener when they beat visiting Osmanlispor, 3-1.
Osmanlispor 1-3 Galatasaray
Dream Team VI forward, Aminu Umar, played side by side with Raheem Lawal just behind the top striker in Osmanlispor’s 4-2-3-1 formation when they entertained Galatasaray in Ankara. Down by 3 goals, Osmanlispor managed to score their consolation goal on the 58th minute. Umar and Lawal started but lasted for 58 and 86 minutes, respectively. Both players also made a start in their first match of the season away to Malatyaspor, with only Lawal making way as the game progressed.
Kasimpasa 2-2 Besiktas
Emem Eduok was a second half substitute for the second consecutive time when he came in on the 63rd minute for Kasimpasa, as they were still down 2-1 to visitors, Besiktas. Kasimpasa later leveled to force a draw. Kasimpasa had opened their 2017-18 season account, on a good note after they beat Alanayaspor 3-1 away.
Fenerbahce 2-2 Trabzonspor
Super Eagles destroyer, Ogenyi Onazi, was a 63rd minute sub-in for Trabonspor as they forced Fenerbahce to a draw. The away team did not start the Nigerian after his expected move to England –which caused him to miss the season opener — fell through due to a work permit denial. Onazi will most likely reclaim his starting spot for the Black Sea Storm in subsequent games.
Karabuk 3-1 Basaksehir
Karabuk trounced visiting Basaksehir. The visitors who ended up as runner up last season, were without former Golden Eaglet (Class of 2013) captain, Musa Muhammed in their line up. Musa has not been farmed out on another loan since running out of his loan contract with Boznian side, Zeljeznicar Sarajevo. He featured sparingly for the Boznian runner up last term, playing 6 times, with one start, and one assist.