There was deluge of goals and assists across Europe and Asia for Super Eagles players and hopefuls at the weekend.
Leading a host of players to have hit the target is John Chibuike who scored twice for his Turkish club, Samsunspor. Also on song are; Mikel Agu, Reuben Gabriel, Joseph Akpala, Brian Idowu and Kingsley Michael for his U-19 Serie A side, Bologna.
Added to the endless list of goal scorers is Super Eagles outcast, Peter Osaze Odemwingie and his teammate at Indonesian club, Madura Utd, Jude Nwokolo, who scored a brace.
In yet another far-reaching report, ADEBAYO OLODAN captures the performances of players that may join coach Gernot Rohr on the long trip to Russia, next June.
Tosin Kehinde and Matthew Olosunde (Man Utd): The duo are yet to make their debut for the first team as the club secured a 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford.
Alex Iwobi, Chuba Akpom (Arsenal) & Tammy Abraham (Swansea): Iwobi was an unused substitute as his team came from behind to defeat Swansea City 2-1. Abraham clogged 90 mins for the visitors and provided the assist for Clucas’ goal in the first half.
Akpom did not make the match day squad for the Gunners first team after featuring for the U-23 side.
Freddie Ladapo (Crystal Palace): Was not listed when his club drew 2-2 with West Ham Utd.
Ovie Ejaria, Dominic Solanke (Liverpool): Ejaria absent while Solanke was introduced in the 81st min of their s club’s 3-0 defeat of Huddersfield.
Isaac Success (Watford): The injured forward was not part of his team’s 1-0 loss to Stoke City at The Vic.
Tosin Adarabioyo (Man City): He did not make the trip to the Hawthorns as Man City defeated West Brom 3-2.
Victor Moses (Chelsea): Was absent in his team’s 1-0 win over Bournemouth as he is yet to recover fully from injury.
Sammy Ameobi (Bolton Wanderers): Scored his team’s only goal to help them rescue a point in the 1-1 draw against Fulham on Saturday.
Efe Ambrose (Hibernian): The former Celtic defender put in another 90 mins shift as his team won 1-0 at Motherwell on Saturday.
U-20 ace Michael scores first Bologna goal
Youth international, Kingsley Michael continued his run of form for the U-19 side of Bologna with a goal to his name in their 1-2 loss to Napoli in the Primavera.
Michael who was a part of the Nigeria U-17 team that won the 2015 World Youth Championship levelled for his team in the 45th minute, but ended up on the losing side after they conceded a late goal.
It is the third goal he has contributed to in just two games for the club as he bagged two assists in their last Primavera game, which was his debut for the team.
Known for his abilities to shoot from range and also his eye for a pass, the midfielder who is nicknamed Kaka Trigger joined the team in the summer when he clocked 18 after impressing for Nigeria at U-17 and 20 level.
His present form suggest a rapid rise to the main team could be on the card just as his childhood friend and national team pal Orji Okonkwo broke into the first team after only three months at the club.
Kayode Olanrewaju (Girona): Played the last 10 mins as his team secured a famous 2-1 win over European Champions, Real Madrid, yesterday.
Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes): Was on for 90 mins as his club lost 1-0 at Dijon.
Kenneth Omeruo and Emem Eduok (Kasimpasa): Omeruo and Eduok started in Kasimpasa’s 3-1 win over surprise package Göztepe at Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stadyumu (Istanbul). Eduok who was substituted in stoppage time, provided the assist for the home team’s first goal in the 10th min while Omeruo lasted the distance.
Eduok kept his spot in the starting line up after dazzling in their 5-1 win over Nigde Belediyespor two days ago, a game Omeruo was rested for today’s game.
Elvis Manu (Genclerbirligi) & Azubuike Ikechukwu (Yeni Malatyaspor): He played the last 12 mins of his club’s 1-0 loss at home to Yeni Malatyaspor with Ikechukwu not listed for the match.
Patrick Eze and Imoh Ezekiel (Konyaspor) & Aminu Umar (Osmanlispor FK): Eze was substituted in the 56th min while Ezekiel played the last 6 mins of their club’s 1-0 defeat of Osmanlispor for whom Umar logged 90 mins.
Mikel Agu and William Troost-Ekong (Bursaspor): Agu scored the opener in the 37th min as Bursaspor secured a 4-0 win over Antalyaspor. The goal was his second in three games. His teammate, Troost-Ekong also had a solid game as he was part of a back four that shut out the legendary Samuel Eto’o and his colleagues in attack.
John Chibuike (Samsunspor): The former Heartland star produced an accomplished performance against Gaziantepspor, scoring two first-half goals in a 3-0 win. He played the full game against his former team.
Leon Balogun (Mainz 05): Was an unused substitute when his team shared the spoils (1-1) with Eintracht Frankfurt.
Rohr keen on Hoffenheim defender, Akpoguma rejected by Eaglets
Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr is still combing Europe for players who can provide options for his team ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Roht who has successfully convinced former England youth international Ola Aina to switch allegiance from England to Nigeria as cover for the left- full back spot is also keen on German youth international defender, Kevin Akpoguma.
Akpoguma captained Germany to a 1-0 1win over Nigeria at the 2015 World Youth Championship in New Zealand, but could easily have been playing for Nigeria.
In 2011, the defender who is now one of the first names on the team sheet for Hoffenheim approached the coach of the Nigeria U-17 team, Monday Odigie indicating his interest to be a part of the team but was turned down.
Moses Simon, Anderson Esiti and Samuel Kalu (Gent): Simon was the only Nigerian on parade as the exciting winger lasted 90 mins of his team’s 2-1 loss to Charleroi.
Peter Olayinka and Kingsley Madu (Zulte Warengem): Olayinka grabbed an assist and lasted 90 mins while Madu played no part in Zulte Warengem’s 2-1 defeat of KV Mechelen.
Joseph Akpala (KV Oostende): Returned to scoring ways as he netted a first half opener for Oostende who ran out 3-0 winners away at Lokeren.
Kelechi Nwakali (VVV-Venlo): Played the last 45 mins of his team’s 3-0 defeat at Heracles.
Kingsley Ehizibue (PEC Zwolle) & Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag): Ehizibue logged 90mins as his team defeated PEC 2-0 for whom Ebuehi also lasted the duration of the match.
Bartholomew Ogbeche (Willem II): The Super Eagles outcast played a cameo role as a second half substitute in his team’s 1-3 loss at home to Ajax.
Fred Friday (AZ Alkmaar): For the fifth straight game in the Dutch second-tier, the former Dream Team VI invitee got on the score-sheet, but could not prevent his side from losing 2-1 to Go Ahead Eagles.
Ikenna Ikedi, Ibrahim Shuaibu and Izuchukwu Anthony (FK Haugesund): Ikedi and Shuaibu lasted 90 mins while Anthony was benched throughout their team’s 2-3 loss at SK Brann.
Taye Taiwo and Chidi Omeje (AFC Esikutuna): Veteran left-back, Taiwo was an unused substitute while Omeje lasted the distance of their club’s 1-1 draw with Halmstad BK.
Kim Ojo (Lyngby)& Rilwan Hassan, Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjylland): Ojo came off the substitutes’ bench in the 83rd min while Onuachu was substituted in the 78th min of the 2-2 draw between both teams. Former Ebedei FC midfielder, Hassan was missing for the visitors.
Nwankwo Obiorah (Levadiakos): The former Inter Milan midfielder was substituted in the 81st min of his team’s 1-0 loss at AE Larissa.
Emmanuel Emenike (Olympiakos): Was on for 90 mins as his team fell 0-1 to Greek rivals, Panathinaikos on Saturday.
Oghenekaro Etebo and Dele Alampasu (CD Feirense): Logged 90 mins minutes for CD Feirense against Benfica, teammate Dele Alampasu wasn’t in the 18-man squad. The result was 1-0.
Abdullahi Ibrahim Alhassan (Austria Wien): Lasted 90 mins as his team secured a 2-2 draw at LASK.
Aaron Samuel (CSKA): Made the line-up in their 1-0 loss to Arsenal Tula but was replaced 9 mins into the second half after Konstantin Kuchaev was shown a red card.
Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm): Opened scoring for his team in their 1-1 draw against FC Rostov before progressing 10-9 on penalties.
Faith Friday Obilor (HJK) & Sani Kaita (RoPS): Obilor logged 90 mins in the 2-3 loss of his team to RoPS for whom Super Eagles outcast, Kaita played the last two mins.
Kemi Matias Ojala (PS)& Fuad Gbolahan Salami (KuPS): Ojala lasted the duration of his team’s 1-3 loss to KuPS with Salami introduced in the 69th min.
Nnaemeka Anyamele (HIFK): Was an unused substitute as his team suffered a 2-1 defeat against FC Lahti.
Reuben Gabriel eyes Russia 2018
Reuben Gabriel is delighted with his form for KuPS after helping the club qualify for the Europa League in the just concluded season, and is targeting a recall to the Super Eagles ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
Gabriel notched 7 goals in 31 league matches, his highest tally in a single season since he moved to Europe in 2013.
”I thank God with the season because I had some problems with injuries before I came to KuPS . I thank God I am now injury free, I worked hard for what I achieved this season,” said Gabriel.
When quizzed about his contract situation, he said, ” I can’t decide God needs to decide. I need to get better challenges, the club has the option for one year, if I get a better contract they will allow me leave.”
He however sent a message to the Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, saying : ”I have been following their games, the team did a great job for the country qualifying for the World Cup.
”I wish to get another opportunity to show my talent.”
Gabriel has turned out for Boavista, AS Trencin, Waasland-Beveren and Kilmarnock FC, and was a member of the Super Eagles squad at the 2013 Nations Cup and 2014 World Cup.
Shehu Abdullahi (APOEL Nicosai): Put in a 90 mins performance on his return as his team drew 1-1 with Anorthosis. The versatile player took to his twitter handle to express his delight over the result; “Crucial away point, I’m excited to return to action. Unbeaten run still intact.”
Little-known Oseghale makes headlines
In the 10th round of the Premier League of Azerbaijan, unheralded striker, Lucky Oseghale was on target as Kapaz defeated Inter Baku PIK 2-0 at Inter Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Oseghale’s second half strike took his tally for this season to two goals in 10 appearances in the league.
Since joining Kapaz in the summer transfer window, the striker has established himself as a first team regular, starting all their 10 matches in the division.
He was discovered by Italian-based Nigerian agent Benny Itorho of Pro-Onesports Intermediaries, and started off his career in Europe with Maltese club St. Andrews FC before shifting to Mosta.
Despite yesterday’s win, Kapaz remain bottom of the Premier League table with seven points, one point from the safety zone and they host Qarabag in the next round of matches.
Odion Ighalo (ChangChun Yatai): He fired blank for 90 mins as his side won 3-1 against ChangGing Lifan.
John Obi Mikel (Tianjin Teda): Got 90 mins of action as his team lost 3-2 to Guangzhou R & F, yesterday.
Rohr leaves door open for Martins’ Eagles return
Shanghai Shenhua front man, Obafemi Martins could gatecrash Nigeria’s squad for the World Cup 2018 in Russia according to coach Gernot Rohr.
The coach made this known during a radio interview when he was asked about the chances of the forward making the squad for the World Cup.
“We will call the best men, for now everybody wants to come because we are in the World Cup. The players who brought us to the World Cup, I don’t forget them. It’s very important,” Rohr said.
“There are other players we are also looking at to beef up the team, but for now we are looking at getting good games for better preparations for the World Cup”.
The striker was part of the Nigerian team to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which is the only World Cup Martins who recently turned 33 has played in his career.
He came to limelight during his time with Italian side Inter-Milan, but he has since gone on to play for teams like Newcastle United, Wolfsburg, Rubin Kazan, Levante and MLS side Seattle Sounders from where he moved to China.
Presently he has scored 8 goals, and also has three assists as the partner of Argentina forward Carlos Tevez in the Chinese club’s attack.
Choose Nigeria not Brazil, dad advises prolific striker
São Paulo-based Nigerian Joe Uzoukwu, has advised his son and Vejle’s Nigerian-Brazilian striker, Dominic to commit his international future to Nigeria rather than the country of his birth, Brazil.
Dominic has picked up where he left off last season, scoring 7 goals in 13 matches this term to take his overall tally to 22 goals (6 assists) from 43 appearances for Vejle.
”There are lots of competition to play for Brazil, there are many players arising daily that’s why on Nigeria side he has more chances to fit in,” said Uzoukwu.
”He is more of what we call “Centrovante de Area”, That is 18yd area striker. In this case he can make use of his body stature to protect, displace his opponents, most times acts as pivot inside the aerial box while his teammates from behind strike in the ball.
”This they learn in Futsal, and with his height defenders find it difficult to mark him. Like during their tournaments here, his opponents are always afraid asking, “how can we mark Dominic?”
”He has a powerful shot and besides if you have watched his game unlike most strikers who are very “egoistic” in passing the ball to his teammate in position to make that goal, he would rather serve his teammates in good position to score the goal.
”These are the good qualities he will bring to the Super Eagles if called upon and he will make his colleagues happy,” added Uzoukwu Snr.
Dominic Uzoukwu, who has a Brazilian mother, has no international caps for the South American nation, so can play for the Super Eagles without FIFA approving a change of association.
Jude Nwokolo and Osaze Odemwingie (Madura Utd): Nwokolo scored twice just as Odemwingie returned to scoring ways in Madura’s 4-3 away win at Persiba Balikpapan.
The goal was Odemwingie’s 15th of the season.