Several Nigerian players across Europe, the African continent and in Asia laboured to draws at the weekend. At the last count, no fewer than 12 matches involving Super Eagles players and prospects ended in either goalless draw, 1-1 or 2-2 draws.
The most astonishing news from Europe is that of forgotten former Super Eagles striker, Batholomew Ogbeche who scored a hat-trick for his Dutch employers, Willem II on Saturday. For all the efforts of the former PSG player, Willem II was held to a 3-3 draw by Kelechi Nwakali’s VVV Venlo.
In another report ADEBAYO OLODAN, captures the performances of players coach Gernot Rohr will rely on for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Victor Moses (Chelsea): Was an unused substitute as the Blues where held to a 1-1 draw by Liverpool.
Freddie Ladapo (Crystal Palace): The ex-Flying Eagles invitee was not named as his team defeated Stoke City 2-1 at Selhurst Park. He has played two games for the first-team in all competitions.
Tammy Abraham (Swansea City): Came off the substitutes’ bench in the 84th min of his team’s goalless draw against Bournemouth.
Isaac Success (Watford): He was not included in his team’s travelling party to Newcastle United as the Hornets claimed a 3-0 win.
Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa (Leicester City): Ndidi became the youngest player at 20 to play all minutes in 35 straight games for Leicester City in the Premiership. He lasted the distance in the 1-1 draw while Iheanacho and Musa played no part in the match with the former an unused substitute.
Ola Aina (Hull City): Played all 90minutes as a left-back when his team crashed 2-3 to Bristol City.
Sone Aluko (Reading): Was on for 90 mins as his team was held to a goalles draw by Sheffield Wednesday.
Efe Ambrose (Hibernian): He played all 90mins as his club drew 1-1 with Hammonton Academicals.
Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna): The newly capped Super Eagles goalkeeper was not listed when his team drew 2-2 against Atletico Bilbao.
Kayode Olanrewaju (Girona): He was an unused substitute when his team drew 2-2 at Real Betis.
Leon Balogun (Mainz 05): He was not considered for his club’s 2-1 loss at Freiburg.
Orji Okonkwo (Bologna): He came on as a 74th minute substitute and got the third goal in his team’s 3-0 defeat of Sampdoria. At 19, Okonkwo has three goals in 17 appearances for Bologna, barely a year after joining the club.
Chigozie Awaziem (Nantes): He was not listed as his team lost 2-1 at Rennes on Saturday.
Aminu Umar and Raheem Lawal (Osmanlispor) & Elvis Manu (Genclerbirgi): Umar assisted the first goal and lasted 90 mins while Lawal was substituted after 63 mins of their team’s 2-0 win over Genclerbirgi. Manu was introduced in the 46th min of the match for the visitors.
Okechukwu Azubuike and Sincere Seth (Yeni Malatyaspor): Former U-23 skipper, Azubuike was substituted in the 72nd min while Seth was an unused substitute in the goalless draw with Besiktas.
William Troost-Ekong and Mikel Agu (Bursaspor): Troost-Ekong lasted the distance while Agu was not listed in their club’s 2 – 1 defeat of Karabukspor. An elated Troost-Ekong took to his twitter handle after the match and wrote; “3 points! Thanks for the support. Unto the cup game, Wednesday.”
Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor): Was substituted in the 46th min of his team’s 2-1 defeat of Sivasspor.
Bartholomew Ogbeche (Willem II) & Kelechi Nwakali (VVV Venlo): Former PSG forward, Ogbeche scored an hat-trick as the two teams played a 3-3 draw. Nwakali was an unused substitute for Venlo.
Ogbeche, who represented Nigeria at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea had three shots on target and 49 touches during the match. He also won six aerial duels and made 24 accurate passes, getting 10 of his passes wrong.
Samuel Kalu, Anderson Esiti and Moses Simon (Gent) & Taiwo Awoniyi (Mouscron): Simon opened scoring from the penalty spot for Gent and lasted 90 mins same as Esiti while Kalu was substituted after 75minutes of their club’s 3-1 defeat of Mouscron. Awoniyi restored parity for his team in the 33rd minute and lasted the duration of the match.
Joseph Akpala (Oostende): Played for 72mins as his team won 1-0 against Eupen, the former club of Henry Onyekuru.
Uche Agbo (Standard Liege): Played all 90 mins and rounded off scoring for his team in the 81st min of their 2-0 away win at Genk.
Abiola Daudu (Atromitos): Scored in the third minute as Atromitos drew 1-1 with Panathinakos.
Alhassan Ibrahim (Austria Wien): He was introduced in the 69th min of his club’s 2-1 defeat of Wolfberger, yesterday.
Stephen Odey (FC Zurich): The former MFM striker was sat out the duration of his team’s 2-0 win at Lausanne on Sunday.
Obinna Nwobodo (Ujpest): He lasted the distance as his club defeated Diosgyori VTK 2-1 in front of their crowd.
Eke Uzoma (Balmazujvaros): Uzoma was on for the entirety of his team’s 2-2 draw at home to Puskas FC Academy.
Ezekiel Henty (Videoton): Played a cameo role as he was on for the last five minutes of his team’s 2-0 defeat of Paksi SE.
Kenny Otigba (Ferencvaros): Was cautioned in the 41st min and lasted the distance as his club lost 2-1 at Haladas.
Dele Aiyenugba (Hapoel Ashkelon): Was in goal when his team suffered a 2-1 defeat away at
Peter Onyekachi (Hapoel Acre): The former U-23 forward lasted 90 mins of his club’s 1-0 loss at home to Maccabi Petach-Tikva.
Simon Okosun (AC Horsens): Was on for the duration of his team’s 6-0 loss at FC Nordsjaelland.
Shehu Abdullahi (Anorthois Famagustos): Played all 90minutes as Anorthois Famagustos played a 1-1 draw with AEL Limassol
… linked to Merseyside duo
Shehu Abdullahi has been linked with Premier League duo Liverpool and Everton.
Abdullai, 24, plays for Cypriot club Anorthosis Famagusta and a source at his agent’s company has revealed growing transfer interest.
“Yes, we have offers from Spain, France, Italy and Merseyside clubs in England,” 90minutesgoal.com quote a source at player agency Mitem Sports Sprl.
“We will study which offer is best for our client, since he will be a free agent after the World Cup.”
Abdullahi is a versatile defender capable of playing right-back, centre-back and defensive midfield.
He has also represented Kano Pillars, Kuwaiti side Qadsia SC and Portugal’s Uniao da Madeira in his senior club career, and was part of Nigeria’s bronze medal-winning squad at the 2016 Olympic Games.
MLS outfit extends Omiunu’s stay
Atlanta United has exercised their option to extend the contract of Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu following the conclusion of the regular season.
A product of Harvard, the midfielder was selected No. 2 pick in the third round of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.
Wheeler-Omiunu made his first team debut for Atlanta United in their 3-2 win over Charleston Battery in the US Open Cup, and was a non-playing substitute for MLS games against Orlando City, Sporting KC, Philadelphia Union and Minnesota United.
His father played for the youth team of Nigeria while his grandfather represented the senior national team, according to the Boston Globe.
Meanwhile, Atlanta United has also announced that Nigerian striker; Patrick Okonkwo will become one of the club’s homegrown players effective January 1, 2018. The 19-year-old signed a professional contract with the Five Stripes in June 2017.
Martins scores again, wins Chinese Cup
After scoring the solitary goal in the first leg of the Chinese Cup for Shanghai Shenhua, former Inter Milan and Newcastle Utd striker, Obafemi Martins was again on song yesterday as his team suffered a 3-2 loss to Shanghai SPG FC but clinched the title on away goal rule. The match ended 3-3 on aggregate as Martins’ club had earlier won the first leg 1-0.
The 33-year-old has been in spectacular form in the Chinese league of late sparkling debates of his likely recall to the Super Eagles, among football aficionados back home in Nigeria.
Kalu Uche (Delhi Dynamos): The former Super Eagles midfielder scored the solitary goal for his team in their 1-4 loss at Bangaluru FC, yesterday.
Daniel Akpeyi and James Okwuosa (Chiappa Utd): Akpeyi was substituted in the 68 mins after sustaining what appeared a neck injury in the goalless draw with Mamelodi Sundowns while Okwuosa lasted the duration of the game.