After securing four points over two legs against Cameroon, Super Eagles players returned to their respective clubs and put in impressive performances. There was a deluge of goals from Nigerian players with Henry Onyekuru scoring a brace for Belgian club, Anderlecht. In the same league, leggy forward, Peter Olayinka was also on song for his less fancied team, Zulte-Waregem. Other players to have found the back of the net at the weekend are; Portugal-based Oghenekaro Etebo, Amarachi Osuji in Slovenia and Finland based, Vincent Onovo.
For Leon Balogun, he was handed a rare start in the starting line-up of Mainz and he was able to repay the faith of the coach in him as the club posted a 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
In this report, ADEBAYO OLODAN writes on the exploit of Eagles’ players and prospects abroad.
Tosin Adarabioyo (Man City) and Ovie Ejaria (Liverpool) were not in their respective teams match day squads as Jurgen Klopp’s side were thrashed 5-0 by Pep Guardiola’s team but England U-21 international, Dominic Solanke came off the bench for the Reds in the 67th minute.
Arsenal returned to winning ways by defeating Bournemouth 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium with Alex Iwobi watching the proceedings from the substitutes’ bench.
Elsewhere, England U-20 international, Ademola Lookman was not in the Everton squad that lost 3-0 to Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park.
Three Super Eagles players fresh from international duty were involved at the King Power Stadium as Chelsea won their third game on the bounce, beating former champions, Leicester City 2-1.
Wilfred Ndidi, who went the distance, was shown a yellow card in the 84th minute, Victor Moses was substituted with 16 minutes left and Kelechi Iheanacho came off the bench on 78 mins.
Isaac Success was an unused substitute as Watford defeated Southampton 2-0 at St Mary’s Stadium.
Olowu trains with Arsenal first team
Nigerian wonderkid Joseph Olowu was delighted to train with Arsenal’s first team on Friday ahead of their Premier league encounter against Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium.
Olowu, who joined the Gunners at U14 level, is one of the top youngsters in their U18 squad and has already featured for the Reserve team in the Premier League 2.
The 17-year-old posted on Twitter, with an accompanying picture of himself and Chile star Alexis Sanchez: ”Good Session This Morning with the First Team.”
The English-born central defender has started all the matches played by Arsenal in the U18 Premier League so far this season, including Saturday’s tie at Cobham Training Centre against defending champions Chelsea.
Olowu penned a scholarship deal with Arsenal in the summer of 2016, and may sign his first-ever professional contract in the next two months if he continues his impressive performances for the youth teams.
Ola Aina started and logged 90 minutes as Hull City were thrashed 5-0 by Derby County at Pride Park. England U-20 World Cup winning defender Fikayo Tomori watched proceedings from the bench.
Recuperating striker, Noah Bazee was not involved in Hannover’s 1-1 draw with Wolfsburg on game week three in the German Bundesliga. Victor Osimhen didn’t make Wolfsburg’s squad.
In a 3-4-3 formation, Leon Balogun occupied the right side of central defense as Mainz claimed a 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen at Opel Arena. The number three was impressive in his full shift.
Former Nigeria international, Vincent Enyeama was missing from the Lille squad that were held to a goalless draw by Bordeaux. The goalkeeper is on the road to recovery as he has started working with the ball.
Imoh Ezekiel was substituted after 45mins just as Patrick Eze played the last 16 mins of Konyaspor’s 0-2 defeat at home to Alanyaspor.
Elderson Echiejile lasted only the first half as Sivasspor lost 2-0 at home to Kayserispor.
Former Rangers striker, Alhaji Gero was an unused substitute as his club Oestersunds FK defeated AFC Eskilstuna 3-0. Chidi Dauda Omeje lasted 16 mins while Taye Taiwo who was cautioned in the 36th min lasted the duration of the match for the away team.
Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag) played the first half as his team picked up their first points of the new campaign, beating Willem II 2-1.
Arsenal loanee, Kelechi Nwakali rose from the bench in the 75th minute and drew VVV Venlo level in the 90th minute against FC Groningen to end the match 1-1.
Oghenekaro Etebo scored his second league goal of the season in the 80th min of Feirense’s 3-2 loss to Sporting CP at Estadio Marcolino de Castro. The midfielder was replaced in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time. Former Golden Eaglets goalkeeper Dele Alampasu was not included in Feirense’s match day squad.
Onyekuru on double as Anderlecht maintains status quo
Henry Onyekuru snatched a double for Anderlecht to ensure the side maintained a superb record against Lokeren in recent league matches courtesy of a 3-2 win on Friday in Brussels.
Anderlecht started the match on a brighter note with the Nigerian scoring three minutes into the encounter but the visitors struck twice within half an hour to head into the break with a none goal cushion.
Onyekuru was at it again 17 minutes after the hour mark for his third goal of the session with a shot after connecting well with a Teodorczyk cross to put home side back on level terms.
Anderlecht grabbed maximum point in the last minute of the match when Teodorckyk netted a late finish for Rene Weller coached team. The striker was cautioned in the 59th minute of the match.
Onyekuru who is on loan at the Belgian side from Premier League outfit, Everton will be back in action in Germany where they face Bayern Munich in a UEFA Champions League match day 1 fixture on Tuesday.
Awoniyi, Ajagun fire blank
Former U-20 forward, Taiwo Awoniyi saw 60 mins of action as his team, Royal Mouscron defeated Club Brugge 2-1. Elsewhere,
Former U-23 invitee, Peter Olayinka continued to make waves after scoring for the third consecutive game in Zulte-Waregem’s 2-2 draw with Kortrijk.
The Gent loanee struck in the 15th minute of the encounter at Regenboogstadion as Olayinka and ex-Flying Eagles skipper Abdul Ajagun went the distance for their respective teams.
Former U-15 striker, Dennis Bonaventure was missing from Club Brugge’s line-up as a result of the ankle injury he sustained in a Europa League qualifier against AEK Athens in August but he has started individual training.
Anderson Esiti lasted the distance and was booked in the 41st minute while his teammate Moses Simon was substituted in the second half of Gent’s 1-1 draw with Genk.
Nigeria target, Brian Idowu was red carded in the 90th minute of Amkar Perm’s 1-0 loss at home to CSKA Moscow, for whom Aaron Samuel was an unused substitute. Fegor Ogude didn’t make Amkar Perm’s match day squad.
Samuel in line for debut CL group stage
Former Shooting Stars forward, Aaron Samuel may make his debut in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League this week as he is on the flight to Portugal with the CSKA Moscow squad.
19 CSKA players, including the Super Eagle, flew to Portugal, where they will face Benfica on Tuesday according to the official website of the Russian Premier League side.
Whilst Samuel was involved in CSKA’s qualifying round and playoff games against AEK Athens and Young Boys, he has never played in the Champions League group stage.
The 23-year-old was an unused substitute as the Muscovites beat Amkar Perm 1-0 in the league three days ago.
Emeka Eze played the last 17mins as his team Sturm Graz stumbled to a 1-2 loss at LASK Linz.
Greek champions, Olympiakos were held to a 1-1 draw by Xanthi, with Emmanuel Emenike coming off the bench in the 60th minute. He didn’t feature for The Reds throughout August due to a tear in the abductor muscle. Suleiman Omo shot his team into the lead and was on for the entirety of Lamia’s 3-1 away win at Asteras Tripolis. Elsewhere, Abiola Dauda fired blanks for 90 mins as his team Atromitos played a goalless draw with PAS Giannina.
Chinwendu Nkama was in action as his team, Ankaran Hrvatini lost 0-2 at home to Gorica with Bede Amarachi Osuji given the away team the lead in the 12th min and was substituted with five mins left to play. Donatus Edafe played the last 11 mins of the match in the colours of the victors.
Simon Okosun was in action as his team, AC Horsens drew 2-2 at home to FC Nordsjaelland while Kim Ojo was benched all through Lyngby’s 1-0 defeat of FC Helsingoer.
Super Eagles outcast, Efe Ambrose logged 90 mins as Hibernian drew 1-1 at St.Johnstone.
Philip Njoku scored in the 65th minute as his team, FC Inter drew 2-2 with Ilves just as Kemi Matias Ojala lasted the distance as his team PS suffered a 0-1 loss at RoPS.
Super Eagles stars Reuben Gabriel and Gbolahan Salami started for KuPS in their 2-1 home win versus SJK. Salami came off with nine minutes left on the clock.
Vincent Onovo scored his first goal since June as pacesetters HJK Helsinki thrashed VPS 3-0 at Elisa Stadion (Vaasa).
The midfielder was on target in the 11th minute and got replaced on 57 minutes while his teammate, Faith Friday Obilor worked a full shift for the champions in waiting.
Sunshine captain, Abe joins Teuta Durres on loan
The skipper of Nigeria Professional Football League side, Sunshine FC, Sunday Abe has left Akure after 12 years to join Albania Super Liga club, Teuta Durres on a season long loan deal.
Abe, has been with the Owena Whales since 2006 and he became the captain of the club in 2013.
According to the former youth international, the move was necessary as he desires a taste of European football having spent over a decade in the domestic league.
“I think it is the right time for me to leave but I’ll miss Sunshine Stars as a family especially the fans who have always been there for me.
“Joining Teuta will give me the platform to do good things as I hope to feature for bigger teams in Europe,” Abe was quoted to have said.
The midfielder who featured for Nigeria at the 2009 U-20 World Cup has been handed jersey No 4 at the Niko Dovana Stadium. He would compete with Nijaz Lena, Ardit hila and Fabjan Beqja for a place in the squad.
Delhi Dynamos signs Kalu Uche
Delhi Dynamos has roped in Kalu Uche as its fourth foreign signing for the upcoming edition of the Indian Super League. This will be Uche’s second stint in the tournament after having represented FC Pune City in 2015 when he scored four goals in 11 matches.
The former Super Eagles forward last represented Spanish second division side UD Almeria. According to Dynamos Director Rohan Sharma, the 34-year old’s presence adds further steel and experience to the frontline of the Lions.
The striker has previously represented the likes of Levante, Espanyol in Spanish La Liga and Bordeaux in the French Ligue 1. He has also scored five goals for Nigeria in 36 appearances, including two in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Kalu began his career with Enyimba before moving to Wisla Krakow in Poland, where he won the top division title thrice and the Polish Cup on two occasions. Kalu then went on to represent Almeria for 6 seasons, helping the side achieve promotion to the Spanish top division.
The veteran forward has also had short spells in Turkey with Kasimpasa and in Qatar with El Jaish and Al Rayyan.
Igiebor joins Vancouver Whitecaps
Nosa Igiebor has joined Major League Soccer (MLS) side Vancouver Whitecaps FC, subject to international clearance and a work permit.
The 26-year-old, who was part of his country’s 2013 African Cup of Nations winning squad, joins after he mutually terminated his deal with relegated Turkish club Rizespor.
Igiebor has previously played in Norway (Lillestrøm), Israel (Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Tel Aviv) and Spain (Real Betis).
“Nosa is a box-to-box midfielder who brings a lot of experience having played in some of the top leagues in the world,” Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson told the club website.
“When you have an opportunity to bring in a player with this pedigree, you take it. Nosa adds competition for places in our midfield, which will only help strengthen our group.”
Whitecaps are currently fourth in the 11-team Western Conference table.
Igiebor, who has joined for the remainder of 2017, has the option to extend his contract with the Canada-based MLS club for the 2018 and 2019 season.
He scored twice in 15 appearances for the Super Eagles and was in Nigeria’s preliminary 30-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
DO YOU KNOW?
- Alexandre Lacazette is only the second Arsenal player to score in his first two homes Premier League games, after Marouane Chamakh.
- The 5-0 defeat of Liverpool by Manchester City is the joint-biggest margin of defeat for Jurgen Klopp as a manager, level with Mainz 1-6 Werder Bremen (Oct 2006).
- No player has scored more goals in their first four Premier League games for Man Utd than Romelu Lukaku (4, same as Louis Saha, Robin van Persie and Zlatan Ibrahimovic).
- It took Harry Kane 169 games to score 100 goals for Spurs; 12 games fewer than Thierry Henry to score 100 for Arsenal (181).
- Since August 2016, only Harry Kane (31) and Billy Sharp (34) have scored more English league goals than Chris Wood (30).
- Since his Man City debut in September 2015, no player has more Premier League assists than Kevin De Bruyne.
- Gabriel Jesus has been directly involved in 13 goals in his 12 Premier League starts for Man City (nine goals, four assists).
- Only Andrea Belotti (10) has scored more headed league goals in Europe’s big 5 divisions since Aug 2016 than Alvaro Morata (9).
- Only Wayne Rooney (15) has scored more EPL goals as a teenager for @ ManUtd than Marcus Rashford (12).
- Sergio Aguero is now the top scoring non-European player in Premier League history (124), overtaking Dwight Yorke (123).
- Christian Eriksen is now the joint-highest scoring Dane in Premier League history, with 32 goals (level with Nicklas Bendtner).
- Mark Hughes is only the 2nd manager to go unbeaten in 4 consecutive EPL games against Jose Mourinho, after Ronald Koeman (5 games).
- Sergio Aguero has now scored in all six of his Premier League appearances at home against Liverpool for Man City.
- Man City have lost just one of their last 23 league games at home (W13 D9), but they have only kept a clean sheet in six of these.
- Danny Welbeck has scored more Premier League goals in four games this season (3) than he did in 16 apps in 2016-17 (2).