It was a weekend of goals for Nigeria players across Europe. Super Eagles outcast, Bartholomew Ogbeche continued from where he left off last weekend by scoring a brace for his Dutch club Willem II, as they dispatched Heracles Almelo 3-1. The former PSG forward has now scored five goals in only two matches.
Also on song at the weekend are; Henry Onyekuru, Elvis Manu, Abduljeleel Ajagun and Sylvester Igboun with a brace for Ufa in the Russian league.
Another cheering news from Europe at the weekend is the report of former Super Eagles keeper, Austin Ejide finding a new club.
Ejide who was inactive last season agreed a season-long contract with Israeli second division side Hapoel Hadera.
Victor Moses (Chelsea): He lasted the distance as his team defeated Newcastle Utd 3-1. He provided an assist for his side’s second goal in the 33rd minute, then earned a penalty which was converted by Eden Hazard with 16 minutes left on the clock.
Ademola Lookman (Everton): The England U-21 star, Ademola Lookman played the last 19 minutes of Everton’s 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town at Goodison Park.
Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa (Leicester City): Ndidi made his 15th straight start in the league, Iheanacho was a non-playing substitute and Musa was not in the match day squad as their club defeated Burnley 1-0.
Tammy Abraham (Swansea City): He returned to the starting line-up against Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium, and put in a full shift but could not prevent his side from losing 2-1.
Freddy Ladapo (Crystal Palace): He was not in the Eagles squad as they played a goalless draw with West Brom.
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal): Came off the substitutes bench in the 15th min of his team’s 1-3 loss at home to Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.
Everton, Derby keen on Man City’s Nimecha
Premier League side Everton has set the ball rolling in their bid to sign the prolific Nigerian striker Lukas Nmecha from Manchester City, ahead of the reopening of the transfer window, as per reports.
According to The Sun, the Goodison club think they can tempt Nmecha from City with a better chance of games as his contract runs out.
Lukas Nmecha and his junior brother Felix are amongst the hottest properties at City Football Academy, between them they have scored 16 goals for Manchester City’s youth teams in the ongoing season.
Lukas is highly rated by City first-team coach Pep Guardiola and the Spaniard named him in the 18-man squad for the League Cup clash against Wolves in October.
Everton’s director of football Steve Walsh is confident that he can convince Lukas Nmecha to join the Toffees in the January transfer window or in the summer.
But they face competition from Derby County, who are also interested in signing the England U19 international.
Efe Ambrose (Hibernian): Lasted the duration of his team’s 1-0 away win at Partick Thistle.
Issa Adekunle (Tatran Presov): Was substituted after 72 mins of his team’s goalless draw at home to DAC 1904.
Musefiu Ashiru (Dunajska Streda) & Yusuf Otubanjo (Zilina): Ashiru came off the substitutes’ bench in the 56th min of his club’s 1-0 triumph over Zilina while Otubanjo who was cautioned after 11 mins was substituted in the 63rd min.
Pentecost Obiechina (FK Senica): Lasted the duration of his team’s 3-0 loss at Zlate Moravce.
Bede Amarachi Osuji (Gorica): He was substituted in the 90th min of his team’s 2-1 loss at Maribor.
Sylvester Igboun (FC UFA): Scored twice and assisted another as he helped his club to a convincing 3-0 win over Fegor Ogude and Brian Idowu’s Amkar Perm in the Russian Premier League, yesterday.
Abdul Ajagun (Kortrijk): Scored the opener and assisted the third for his club when they thrashed Waasland Beveren 4-1 in the Belgium Division A on Saturday.
Onyekuru savours 8th goal
Henry Onyekuru is delighted to see his Belgian Jupiler League side Anderlecht return to winning ways after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Lokeren on Saturday.
Anderlecht had lost 1-0 to Uche Agbo’s Standard Liege in the Belgian Cup clash last Wednesday.
The 21-year-old who scored the match winner for his side on Saturday took to Twitter to celebrate his eighth league goal of the season.
“Back to winning ways. Another goal. God is great,” Onyekuru wrote via his official Twitterhandle.
The Nigeria international is Anderlecht’s top scorer in the Belgian first division league with eight gold in 17 league games. Onyekuru is also tied with Mechelen’s Boureima Bande on the top scorer’s chart.
Onyekuru is expected to feature for Anderlecht in their final UEFA Champions League group game against Celtic at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium on Tuesday.
Ajagun inspires Kortrijk to big win
Former Flying Eagles skipper, Abduljaleel Ajagun played a huge role as his side secured a big wins in the Belgian top flight on Saturday.
The midfielder scored a goal and provided an assist as KV Kortrijk beat Waasland-Beveren 4-1 at home.
Ajagun opened scoring for his team after just six minutes.
It was his third goal in the league after goals against Oostende and Anderlecht all at home.
The former Flying Eagles skipper then missed a sitter in the first half.
The 24-year-old then assisted for his team’s second goal in the 58th minute.
However, Kortrijk languish in 14th place on the 16-team table with 17 points from as many matches. Super Eagles World Cup hopeful inspires club to big win
Dele Aiyenugba and Goodness Ohiremen Ajayi (Hapoel Ashkelon): Aiyenugba was in goal for 90 mins just as his teammate, Ajayi was introduced in the second half of their club’s 1-1 draw at home to Maccabi Netanya.
Peter Onyekachi (Hapoel Acre): Lasted the duration of his team’s 1-3 loss to Beitar Jerusalem.
Ex- Eagles keeper Ejide joins new club
Former Nigeria goalkeeper, Austin Ejide has agreed a season-long contract with Israeli second division side Hapoel Hadera.
Experienced Ejide has equally started at his new club in the Leumit (equivalent of NNL) side with two clean-sheet performances at Lod FC which Hadera won 2-0 and a subsequent 1-0 home win on Friday against Kfar Saba.
It is Ejide’s third club in Israel since he moved to the European country from French side Bastia.
After parting company with Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Ejide was unable to secure any club, thus remaining club less all through the 2016 season.
“It was a difficult moment for me. Lots of setbacks during which time I lost my mother last year.
“Well, I’ve put all that behind as I look forward to better things with Hapoel Hadera,” Ejide said from his base in Israel.
Ogu ready for World’s best teams
Hapoel Be’er Sheva of Israel midfielder, John Ugochukwu Ogu has added his view to reactions trailing Friday’s World Cup draw in Moscow, Russia, with a verdict that the Super Eagles need to buckle up in order to beat the best teams that come their way during next year’s Mundial.
While many observers rue the repeated appearance of Argentina in Nigeria’s group in repeat editions of the global soccer showpiece, Ogu says any country thinking of getting to the top of the game must be prepared to take on the best teams found in the sport.
The towering former Academica de Coimbra midfielder, who scored a super goal against Algeria in Nigeria’s last match of the Russia 2018 qualifiers in Constantine, took to Twitter to express his views on the outcome of Friday’s draw ceremony, and stated categorically of his personal handle @ogujohnugo: “If you want to be the Best, you have to Beat the Best.”
Aaron Samuel (CSKA): He was an unused substitute in his club’s 6-0 defeat of Tonso.
Igboun outshines Idowu, Ogude
It was a case of an old Eagles star outshining a new Eagles ace as Sylvester Igboun scored twice and provided an assist for Ufa to dump Brian Idowu and Fegor Ogude’s Amkar Perm 3-0 at the weekend.
Igboun scored in the 53rd and 69th minutes, before he gave an assist for the third goal in the 80th minute to be named Man of the Match.
The 27-year-old forward now has six goals in the league this season.
The trio of Igboun, Ogude and Idowu played the entire match, while Kehinde Fatai was an unused substitute for Ufa.
Ufa is now seventh on the table with 24 points from 18 matches, while Amkar Perm are 11th on 21 points.
… Amkar Perm star thanks Nigerian teammate for Eagles’chance
Brian Idowu has sent a word of thanks to his club mate, Fegor Ogude for providing the link that led to his invitation to the Super Eagles.
After going on to score in his debut, during a 4-2 win against Argentina in an international friendly on November 14, Idowu has shot a look back to how it all happened, and praised Ogude for the role the former national team star played.
Idowu said: ”He (Ogude) said that he was contacted from the team about me,” he told the club’s official website
“And so, I thought, I’ll come and I’ll figure it out myself, what to do.”
Ogude, who has not been called up to the Super Eagles for more than four years, missed the start of the Russian Premier League season due to a Cervical spine injury.
Russian-born Idowu scored Nigeria’s third goal eight minutes into his debut against Argentina at Stadion FK Krasnodar.
His Nigeria teammates asked about his condition when Idowu arrived in Krasnodar for the friendly against the South Americans.
”They asked how, in general, I live in Russia, about the championship and if it’s cold to play at this time of year,” he added.
”Some guys asked how Ogude feels. They know that he had an injury. I said that he was already well and returned to the field, and they were happy for him.”
Emeka Eze (Sturm Graz): He was introduced in the 66th min and scored in the 88th min of his team’s 2-1 away win at Altach.
Francis Uzoho (Deportivo): The Super Eagles one-cap goalkeeper was not considered for the 2-0 loss to Sevilla.
PORTUGAL (DIV II)
James Igbekeme (Gil Vicente): The winger tallied his fifth goal from 15 matches albeit a 2-1 loss to Oliveirense.
Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag): Suspended for the 0-3 loss at home to Groningen after receiving red card last weekend.
Kingsley Ehizibue (PEC Zwolle): Was on for 90 mins as his club drew 1-1 at home to FC Utrecht.
Kelechi Nwakali (VVV-Venlo) & Fred Friday (AZ Alkmaar): The duo were unused substitutes when Venlo suffered a 2-0 loss at home to AZ.
Ogbeche grabs brace again
Super Eagles 2002 World Cup striker, Bartholomew Ogbeche found the back of the net once again for his Dutch club Willem II, as they dispatched Heracles Almelo 3-1.
This is coming on the heels of the hat trick he scored against VVV Venlo last month, to now take his tally for the season to six.
The 33-year old struck in the 13th and 21st minute to ease his side’s relegation worries, as the win has now taken them to 14th on the table with 14 points from as many matches.
Ogbeche had previously played in France, Spain, England and Qatar previously.
Okechukwu Godson Azubuike (Yeni Malatyaspor): He was cautioned in the 53rd min and was substituted 9 mins later when his team played a goalless draw away at Akhisar Belediye.
Elvis Manu (Genclerbirligi): Scored a brace in the 68th and 85th min of his club’s 4-0 thrashing of Sivasspor.
Patrick Eze (Konyaspor) & William Troost-Ekong and Mikel Agu (Bursaspor): Eze was substituted after the first half of his team’s 0-3 loss to Bursaspor while the duo of Troost-Ekong and Agu were not considered by the victors.
Raheem Lawal (Osmanlispor FK): He was an unused substitute when his team crashed 0-1 at Istanbul Basaksehir.
Chikeluba Ofoedu (Eskisehirspor): The former Enugu Rangers striker continued his rich vein of form by opening and closing the scoring as his team hammered Samsunspor 4-0 at Samsun 19 Mayis Stadyumu.
Ofoedu scored 21 goals (8 assists) in 49 matches for Samsunspor before he joined his present employer Eskisehirspor last summer.
Onazi rules our January move
Trabzonspor of Turkey star, Eddy Ogenyi Onazi has ruled out the possibility of him making an exit from the club in the January transfer window, as he is instead ready to wait patiently for the right move.
Though he tried moving to Birmingham City of England in the summer, Onazi said he took his failure to make the switch as the wish of God, which is why he is not thinking about trying to force another move in the winter.
Rather than seek to leave Trabzonspor, Onazi ended speculations linking him with a January move to England, saying he’s now settled in Turkey and wants to focus on doing well with his club and prepare for the World Cup.
The Super Eagles’ vice-captain said his decision to stop thinking about Birmingham City was not backed by the sack of Harry Redknapp as the club’s manager, but because he is happy at Trabzonspor.
Onazi, who has featured in nine league outings this season, starting six of those games and scored once, has been rated with a passing accuracy of 76% and regular high marks in each game, which he says he will try to improve upon in the second half of the season.
Manuel Akanji (Basel): He lasted 90 mins of his club’s 4-1 trouncing of Lausanne in front of the home crowd.
Ezeh, Chigozie, Ebiye, Mathew, Tagbajumi win Norwegian Cup
Shaloze Udoji Chigozie, Ifeanyi Mathew, Moses Ebiye, Charles Ezeh and Marco Tagbajumi lifted the Norwegian Cup yesterday as their team, Lillestroem defeated Sarpsborg 08 3-2 in the final.
Chigozie who entered into the fray in the 89th min was cautioned instantly but his Nigerian compatriots, Ifeanyi Matthew, Moses Ebiye and Charles Ezeh lasted the duration of the match. For Tagbajumi he was only brought on in the 90th minute of the encounter.
Kim Ojo (Lyngby): After coming on in the 46th min, Ojo found the back of the net in the 89th min as his team suffered a 2-1 loss at home to AaB.
Simon Okosun (AC Horsens): Lasted the duration of his team’s 1-1 draw away at Hobro.
Chigozie Emmanuel Mbah (Slavia Sofia): Came on in the 63rd min of his team’s 2-1 loss at Etar.
Levski Sofia releases Adeniji
Former Sunshine FC striker, Tunde Adeniji has been released by his Bulgarian club following the cancellation of his three-year contract with the club.
The player who joined Levski on February 17, 2016 is presently hunting for a new club in Europe with Moldovan club, Sheriff Tiraspol his likely destination.
The 22-year-old managed only two goals in about 50 appearances for the Bulgarian club.
Innocent Emeghara (Ermis Aradippou): He was substituted after 47 mins of his team’s 2-1 loss to APOEL Nicosia.
Maradona picks interest in young Nigerian striker
Diego Maradona has big plans for young Nigerian striker, Danjuma Kuti at United Arab Emirates club Fujairah.
Maradona has picked special interest in the 19-year-old Kuti, who only recently moved to the UAE, and has even brought him to train with the senior side.
A statement from UAE Sports Agency to SCORENigeria revealed that Maradona had been most impressed by how prolific the striker has been.
Kuti is the leading scorer of the youth team, who top the UAE Youth League table.
Last season, the youth team were crowned champions of the U19 league after Kuti put them ahead by scoring the only goal in a keenly contested match against Al Wasl F.C.
Maradona, who guided Argentina to triumph at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, now wants the young striker to join Fujairah’s first-team, but only two foreign players are allowed by the UAEFA and already Omar Kossoko from France and one other foreign player have been registered in the first division league competition.
Ekundayo joins Chicago Magic
Youngster, El-Amin Ekundayo has joined American Outfit, Chicago magic on a two-year deal. The left-winger was picked by Chicago Magic an affiliate of French giants, Paris Saint Germain during trials conducted by Droom Soccer Academy at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos State.
The talented Ekundayo stood out at the trials which was attended by over 200 youths from different parts of the country.
The teenager is expected to spend two years with Chicago magic from where he will proceed to German club, Hannover depending on his performance.
Eze scores winner for Mohun Bagan
Mohun Bagan rode on a header from their Nigerian defender, Eze Kingsley to down East Bengal by a solitary goal in their first I-League derby of the season at a parked Salt Lake Stadium at the weekend.
Kingsley was voted the Most Valuable Player as he scored off a low but powerful header from a Sony Norde corner in the 41st minute. The goal helped Mohun Bagan break an anxious 40 minutes stalemate for the former champions.
Ighalo names most important Eagles players
Speaking as a guest analyst on SuperSport during the draw for the 2018 World Cup, former Watford star Odion Ighalo has opened up on the key players in the Nigerian squad ahead of the tournament in Russia.
The Changchun Yatai F.C. frontman has suggested that Chelsea right wing-back, Victor Moses will be the biggest threat for Argentina, Croatia and Iceland at the World Cup and the Super Eagles can also boast of important players such as Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi, Eddy Onazi, captain Obi Mikel and defensive pair, Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong.
”With all due respect, the players who give me the biggest confidence are Mikel, Ogenyi Onazi,who never stops running, Victor Moses as well the central defenders William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun as well as Alex Iwobi,” said Odion Ighalo.
”Victor Moses can deliver any time and anywhere. He scores goals, takes on defenses and wins for the team.
”We need him at the World Cup because when he’s fit he can do magic at World Cup.”
Ighalo is in contention to be named to Nigeria’s World Cup roster nine years after he skippered the Flying Eagles at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup.