There was a deluge of goals from Nigerian players in Europe at the weekend with Arsenal loanee, Kelechi Nwakali and Austria based, Bright Edomwonyi grabbing a brace each for MVV Maastricht and Sturm Graz respectively.
Other notable goal scorers at the weekend are; former Insurance forward, Joseph Akpala Samuel Kalu (both in Belgium), and John Okoli in the Cypriot League.
In the Chinese League, Nigerian-Brazilian striker, Dominic Vinícius Eberechukwu Uzoukwu got off to a remarkable start by scoring a goal on his debut for his new club, Beijing Enterprises Group.
For former Super Eagles combative midfielder, Fegor Ogude, it was a weekend he would need to forget soon following his straight red card, two minutes after coming on as a substitute for his Russian club.
In yet another extensive report, ADEBAYO OLODAN captures the performances of Nigerian players from the widely followed Premiership to the Chinese League.
Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City): Ndidi put in another 90 mins shift and was cautioned in the 73rd min while Iheanacho was introduced in the 60th min, scoring a goal in the 76th min and providing an assist as Leceister won 4-1 daway at West Brom.
Victor Moses (Chelsea): He was an unused substitute when his team secured a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace.
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal): Lasted 66 mins of his club’s 3-0 bashing of Watford.
Tosin Kehinde and Matthew Olosunde (Man Utd): The youngsters were not selected when their club defeated Liverpool 2-1.
Michael Obafemi (Southampton): He was not included in the traveling party when his team went down 3-0 to Newcastle United.
Tammy Abraham (Swansea City): He rose from the substitutes’ bench in the 73 mins but could not help the Swans find a win in the goalless draw against Huddersfield.
Ola Aina (Hull City): The Chelsea loanee played for 90 mins as his club defeated Norwich City 4-3.
Eberechi Eze and Nedum Onuoha (QPR) & Joel Asoro, Ovie Ejaria and Josh Maja (Sunderland): Former Super Eagles invitee Eze netted his maiden goal in QPR’s colours after 61 minutes to win the game for the home team in a game were four other Nigerians were on parade.
Efe Ambrose (Hibernian): He put in a full shift when his team defeated Hearts 2 – 0
Chidiebere Nwakali (Aberdeen): The former schoolboy international was an unused substitute when his team played a goalless draw at Partick Thistle.
Brown Ideye and Isaac Success (Malaga): The duo were introduced in the 76th minute as their club suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to Barcelona.
Mandela Egbo (Borussia Moenchengladbach): The 20-year-old defender was an unused substituted when his team crashed 0-2 at Bayer Leverkusen.
Kevin Akpoguma (Hoffenheim) & Victor Osimhen (Wolfsburg): Akpoguma logged 90 mins when his team defeated Wolfsburg for whom Osimhen was missing in action. The London-born Nigerian right-back (Egbo) made his debut for Mönchengladbach on February 25.
Vincent Enyeama (Lille): The former Super Eagles goalkeeper was not listed yet again as his team drew 1-1 with Montpellier.
Chigozie Awaziem (Nantes): He played all 90mins in the heart of defence when his team won 1-0 against Troyes.
Nura Abdullahi sidelined for one month
Nura Abdullahi has been told by parent club Roma to stop playing football for a minimum of 30 days because of his heart condition.
Nura who Roma loaned out to Serie B outfit Perugia, was advised to stop all football activities by the clubs Cardiologist detected he has a heart condition.
Roma provided an update on their official website, which confirmed the youngster’s absence from football due to health reasons.
“On Wednesday 28 February, full-back Nura Abdullahi underwent scheduled cardiological tests. The results of the tests made it necessary that the player stop all sporting activity for a period of 30 days.” the statement said.
The club also stated that following Nura’s absence for 30 days further tests will be conducted to ensure his fitness to continue.
“Following the completion of that period of rest, the player will undergo further tests.” the statement concluded
Nura was loaned out by Roma to Perugia, after compatriot Sadiq Umar was loaned to Eredivisie side NAC Breda.
Roma loaned out both Abdullahi and Umar to get more game time, Umar has been impressive since his move to NAC Breda, and was recently included in the Eredivisie team of the week.
Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag) & Umar Sadiq (NAC Breda): Sadiq lasted 90 mins for his club while Ebuehi was on for 70 mins when ADO Den Haag suffered a 0-2 loss at home to NAC Breda.
Bartholomew Ogbeche (Willem II): He was an unused substitute when his team defeated PSV Eindhoven 5–0.
Ryan Sanusi (Sparta Rotterdam): He was issued a yellow card in the 13th min and lasted 90 mins when his team defeated Roda JC Kerkrade, away from home.
Kelechi Nwakali (MVV Maastricht): He returned to scoring ways when he scored twice during his club’s 3-1 home win against FC Utrecht, Friday evening.
The Arsenal loanee was clearly the best player on the pitch helping his side bounce back from the defeat in the regional derby against Fortuna Sittard.
Nwakali opened scoring in the 24th min when MVV launched an attack from the left, via Hawbir Moustafa and Atilla Yildirim. The 19-year-old scored his second of the night after resumption as he broke quickly again from the left, dummied his way past the Utrecht defence and finishing with a classy well-placed shot.
This is Kelechi Nwakalis second loan spell at MVV following his return after failing to feature regularly for Dutch top flight club VVV Venlo where he spent the first part for the season.
Sadiq Umar makes Eredivisie Team of the week
Sadiq Umar made the Eredivisie team of the week after his performance for NAC Breda against Feynoord.
Umar started the game against Robin Van Persie’s Feynoord , and scored what turned out to be the match winner in the 49th minute, as NAC Breda held on to win 2 – 1 on Saturday, March 3.
Sadiq who is just 20-year-old, was sent on loan by parent club AS Roma to Eredivisie side NAC Breda for the rest of the season.
For his match winning heroics Umar was included in the team of the week released by the official Twitter account of Voetball.
Umar posted a picture on his Official Instagram page to celebrate his match winning performance, with a message which said, “HAPPINESS will never come to those who fail to appreciate the blessings they already have.”
He was part of Nigeria’s Under 23 team to the 2016 Olympic games, where he contributed four goals as the team won a Bronze medal.
Samuel Emem Eduok and Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa): Eduok found the back of the net in the 19th min to draw his team level (1-1) before he was substituted in the 76th min while Chelsea loanee, Omeruo lasted the entirety of their team’s 2-2 draw with Sivasspor.
Mikel Agu, William Troost-Ekong and Shehu Abdullahi (Bursaspor): Agu and Abdullahi were on from star till the end of their club’s 1-2 loss to Osmanlispor.
Joseph Akpala (Oostende) & Uche Agbo (Standard Liege): Akpala was on target in the 45th min as his club lost 4-2 to Standard Liege for whom Agbo made a 75th min introduction.
Abdul Ajagun (KV Kortrijk): The former U-20 skipper lasted 90 mins but was cautioned in the 7th min when his team secured a 2-0 win over Sporting Charleroi.
Moses Simon, Anderson Esiti and Samuel Kalu (Gent): Simon lasted 90 mins while Kalu scored the second goal in the 77th min before he was substituted four mins later as their club defeated Genk
Kehinde Fatai and Sylvester Igboun (FC Ufa): Fatai was substituted in the 46th min while his compatriot, Igboun was not listed when their team defeated Anzhi Makhachkala 3– 2.
Fegor Ogude, Aaron Samuel and Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm): Ogude was issued a straight red card two mins after coming on in the 74th min of his team’s 2-0 home loss to Arsenal Tula. His teammates, Samuel and Idowu lasted the distance for the home team. Amkar has now failed to win in their last two consecutive league games (one loss, one draw) since the resumption of the second phase of the Russian first division on March 2. They are currently 14th on 22 points in the relegation play-off zone in the 16-team league table.
Ahmed Musa (CSKA): He lasted 90 mins as his team secured a 3-0 win away at FK Akhmat.
Yusuf Otubanjo (Altach): He was substituted in the 69th min of his club’s goalless draw with Rapid Wien.
Bright Edomwonyi (Sturm Graz): The former U-20 forward scored a brace when his team defeated Admira Moedling 4-2 away from home. He restored parity (1-1) in the 17thth min before giving his team a 3-2 lead in the 54th min.
Stephen Odey (FC Zurich): The former MFM forward was introduced in the 46th min as his club won 3-0 against Lugano.
Obinna Nwobodo (Ujpest): The former Enugu Rangers and U-20 player was in the thick of action when his team secured a 2-1 away win at Debrecen. His club is now 4th on the log.
Taye Taiwo expresses delight on Finland return
Former Super Eagles defender, Taye Taiwo, has said he is delighted following his return to Finland where he has teamed up with RoPS.
The much-travelled Taiwo moved to the Rovaniemi outfit last week until the end of the season.
He returns to Finland 18 months after he left Finnish giants HJK Helsinki, for whom he scored nine goals in 45 matches.
The 32-year-old has 59 caps for Nigeria.
“It’s exciting to return to a familiar league and nice to reunite with the RoPS coach Toni Koskela,” Taiwo, who has played in six European leagues in five years, told BBC Sport.
“We know each other from our time at HJK when he worked there, so it was not a difficult decision to come here.
“Since I left Finland, I’ve played in Switzerland and Sweden, but I feel good about this next step.”
Taiwo’s biggest success came during a six-year stint with French side Marseille, his first European club which he joined in March 2005.
He won the French Ligue 1 title with Marseille in 2010, as well as back-to-back French League Cups in 2010 and 2011. He also won the 2010 French Super Cup.
The left-back made over 200 appearances for the club, scoring 21 goals before joining Italian giants AC Milan in 2011.
He struggled to establish himself in Italy and then spent six months on loan at English club QPR in 2012, before another loan at Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev.
He then joined Turkish club Buraspor on a permanent deal in July 2013, leading to further stints at Finnish side HJK Helsinki, Switzerland’s Lausanne-Sport and Swedish club AFC Eskilstuna.
Taiwo featured in the 2005 World Youth Championship where he was voted the third-best player of the tournament in the Netherlands, behind Lionel Messi and compatriot John Mikel Obi.
He also played for the Super Eagles at the 2006, 2008 and 2010 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. His last appearance for Nigeria at a major tournament was at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Lukman Haruna hopes to resuscitate career at FK Palanga
Lukman Haruna has signed a short-term deal till the end of the season with Lithuanian top-flight club FK Palanga.
Haruna, who has been without a club since January 2017 after he left Dynamo Kiev, underwent trials at Vardar Skopje in Macedonia, RC Lens in France and Odense BK Denmark.
The former U-17, U-20 and U-23 midfielder hopes to revive his career with the short stint.
“Yes I have signed a short-term deal till the end of the season and I hope to relaunch my career with this move,” the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup winner disclosed.
The 27-year-old previously featured for AS Monaco, Dynamo Kyiv, Hoverla, FC Anzhi Makhachkala and FC Astana.
The player arrived the club for an undisclosed fee.
Okoli delighted with 8th league goal
John Okoli is pleased to have scored his eighth league goal for Yenicami Agdelen in the Northern Cyprus top division.
Okoli sealed his side’s emphatic 4-0 win in Sunday’s encounter scoring the fourth goal against Centiyaka after a brace from from Michael Seroshtan and another from Claudemir Tzemah had given his side a 3-0 lead.
“I’m pleased with the win, the goal was just an icing on the cake,” the 20-year-old told CSN.
Okoli also remains confident that Yenicami Agdelen will defend their title which they won last year.
“We have 14 games left to play in the league and we a five points advantage so the chances of winning the league again are bright,” he added.
Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai): He fired blank for 90 mins as his club lost 5-0 scandalously to Guangzhou Evergrande.
John Obi Mikel (Tianjin Teda): The Super Eagles skipper was in action for 90 mins as his team suffered a narrow 1-0 loss at Henan Jianye.
Dominic Uzoukwu nets on competitive debut
Nigerian-Brazilian striker, Dominic Vinícius Eberechukwu Uzoukwu got off to a flying start at his new club Beijing Enterprises Group, whom he joined in the winter transfer market.
On Saturday morning at the Beijing Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, the former Vejle BK star needed only 21 minutes to open his account for Beijing Enterprises Group against Zhejiang Yiteng, converting a spot-kick after he had been hauled down in the 18.
Uzoukwu hit a left-footed shot low into the corner of the net to double his team’s advantage.
Beijing Enterprises Group’s other two goals came courtesy of Liu Yi and Wen Chih-hao in the 3rd and 50th minutes respectively.
Prior to Dominic’s transfer to the Chinese League One club, he has found the net nine times for Vejle in 16 appearances in the Danish First Division, and tallied three assists in those games.
The 23-year-old, who was once on the radar of Nigeria’s U15 coaching staff, has pledged his international future to Nigeria ahead of his country of birth, Brazil.
Thanks to their 3-0 rout of Zhejiang Yiteng, Beijing Enterprises Group top the table after the opening round of matches in the second-tier.