…as Etebo voted MVP in England
With the all-important African Nations Cup qualifier against Seychelles about a fortnight away, Nigerian players were impressive at the weekend with the likes of Oghenekaro Etebo, Ovie Ejaria and Uche Ikpeazu putting in outstanding performances for Stoke City, Rangers and Hearts respectively.
Meanwhile, in the Chinese Super League, Eagles forward, Odion Ighalo continued his impressive form in front of goal to further prove that he deserves to dorn the green and white jersey again after a forgettable World Cup experience in Russia.
The NEWS EDITOR, ADEBAYO OLODAN reports the exploits of Nigerian players from the largely followed English Premiership to the North African Leagues.
Leon Balogun (Brighton Hove Albion): He lasted 90 mins and was cautioned in the 67th min of his club’s 1-0 reverse against Liverpool.
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal): He was substituted in the 46th min of his club’s 3-1 defeat of West Ham Utd.
Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City): Ndidi lasted the distance while his teammate, Iheanacho was introduced in the 67th min of their team’s 2-1 win at Southampton.
Isaac Success (Watford): The former Golden Eaglets striker was introduced in regulation time when his team secured a 2-1 win at home to Crystal Palace.
Victor Moses and Tammy Abraham (Chelsea): The duo were not listed as their club secured a 2-1 win at Newcastle Utd.
Phillip Billing (Huddersfield): He lasted the duration of his team’s goalless draw against Cardiff City.
Bright Enobakhare (Wolves) & Tom Dele-Bashiru and Nathanael Ogbeta (Man City): The youngster was not listed when his team held league champions, Manchester City to a 1-1 draw. Bashiru and Nathanael Ogbeta were not considered by the visiting team.
Ademola Lookman (Everton) & Nnamdi Oforboh (Bournemouth): He missed out on traveling party for the Tofees as they battled to a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth for whom
Flying Eagles starlet, Oforboh was also missing.
Semi Ajayi (Rotherham Utd): The new Super Eagles invitee lasted the duration of his club’s 1-0 defeat Milwall.
Oghenkaro Etebo (Stoke City): He was voted Man of the Match as he lasted the entire duration of his team’s 2-0 defeat of Hull City.
Ovie Ejaria and Sadiq Umar (Rangers): Ejaria scored a goal while Sadiq was an unused substitute when their club drew 3-3 drew 3-3 with Motherwell.
Efe Ambrose (Hibernian): The Super Eagles outcast lasted the duration of his team’s 1-1 draw with Aberdeen. It would be recalled that Hibernian boss, Neil Lennon condemned the defender last week when he made an error that almost cost his side in their 3-2 win over Ross County in a League Cup match. The error by Ambrose gave Ross County’s Josh Mullin a chance to equalise in the encounter which summed up his poor performance.
In a report by the Hibernian Evening, Lennon criticised the former Super Eagles defender for his role in the second goal.
He said, “We gifted them goals, Efe has to stop it. The second goal was a piece of nonsense, it was uncalled for and we had a bit of a wobble after that penalty.”
Ikpeazu scores again for Hearts: Uche Ikpeazu was the match winner for his table-topping Scottish club Hearts on Saturday as they won 1-0 at Kilmarnock.
Ikpeazu, 23, scored the only goal of the game in the 81st minute.
He has now scored four goals for Hearts this season, three in the cup and one in the league.
Hearts are top of the table in Scotland with three wins from as many matches.
Ikpeazu has previously played for Watford, Doncaster Rovers, Cambridge United, Blackpool, Port Vale and Crewe Alexandra.
Uzoho joins Elche on loan: Spanish Segunda División club, Elche CF have announced the loan signing of Francis Uzoho from Deportivo de La Coruña for the rest of the season.
Subject to a routine medical scheduled to take place today (Monday), the goalkeeper will join Elche for 2018-2019 season.
Uzoho must have caught the eye of Elche on the back of his performances for the reserve team of Deportivo de la Coruña last season and on top of that, he was in goal for the Super Eagles at the 2018 World Cup, posting a shutout against Iceland in their second Group D match.
The 19-year-old entered into the history books last season when he became the youngest ever foreign goalkeeper to debut in La Liga, aged 18 years and 352 days.
He was playing for the Aspire Academy before he was spotted by Deportivo de la Coruña .
He received his first call up to the Nigeria National Team for the games against Algeria and Argentina in November 2017.
Okereke signs for Serie B club: 20-year-old forward, David Okereke has signed a four-year contract extension at the Italian Serie B outfit Spezia.
David Okereke, who is a product of the Football College in Abuja, started his professional career at Italian side Lavagnese before moving to Spezia in 2016.
He went on to make his debut against Novara on the 9th of April, 2016 and has scored eight goals and provided one assist in 38 games.
Okereke spent the second half of last season at Serie C team Cosenza.
Umar Sadiq and Nura Abdullahi are also products of the Football College, Abuja.
Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux):He missed a spot-kick in the 86th min and he lasted the duration of his team’s 2-1 defeat of AS Monaco.
Pillars’ Mohammed set for Hamburg trials: Kano Pillars defensive midfielder, Jamilu Mohammed will undergo a trial at German Bundesliga 2 side Hamburger SV.
The player is expected to leave the country this week and will train with Hamburger SV for the next two weeks where he will be assessed by the coach.
He fits the bill as regards what the club is looking for with a perfect height for the physical German game.
The youth international has warmed himself into the Kano Pillars starting line-up in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) this season.
Collins thanks Paderborn, Rohr for Eagles’ chance
New Super Eagles invitee, Jamilu Collins has applauded SC Paderborn 07 and Gernot Rohr for the “great joy” of his debut Nigeria call.
The left back has said for some time he is open to playing for the Super Eagles.
He received his maiden call for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Seychelles on September 7.
“I feel great joy. I feel Nigerian and it’s for this reason that I am happy. Actually I am overjoyed to be called up to the Super Eagles squad,” he told Footballlive.ng.
“I owe it above all to my family, my teammates, the club, all the staff, the fans and the whole Paderborn.”
“The feeling is so good, I cherish the chance given to me by coach Gernot Rohr who has so much confidence in me.”
Meanwhile, Jamilu Collins was in action for the entire duration as 10-man Paderborn fought gallantly to draw 2-2 against Greuther Fuerth on Saturday.
Jamilu Collins (Paderborn):The Super Eagles invitee, played for 90 mins as his club secured a 2-2 draw against Grethur Fuerth.
Sylvester Igboun (FC Ufa): The Super Eagles fringe player lasted the duration of his team’s 0-2 loss at home to Zenit St. Petersburg.
Adesoye Oyewole (FC Orenburg): He put in another 90 mins shift when his team drew 1 – 1 at home to FC Krasnodar.
Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow):He was an unused substitute when his team secured a 2-1 win over Anzhi Makachala.
PORTUGAL (DIV 2)
Stanley Awurun (Varzim): He scored a goal in the 15th min of his club’s 3-1 victory at home to Sporting Covilha.
Kelechi Nwakali (FC Porto B): The former schoolboy international was introduced in the 68th min of his team’s 2-0 loss to Penafial.
Ogenyi Onazi and Anthony Nwaekeme (Trabzonspor): Onazi lasted 90 mins while Nwaekeme was introduced in the 72nd min of their team’s 2-2 draw with Ankaragucu.
Aminu Umar (Rizespor): He played for 90 mins as his team battled to a goalless draw at home to Erzurumspor.
Emem Eduok (Kasimpasa): He scored the first goal as his team secured a 3-0 win over Sivasspor.
Salami happy with Denizlispor deal: Former Shooting Stars and Warri Wolves striker, Gbolahan Fuad Salami has expressed delight over his transfer to Turkish First Football (TFF) League side Denizlispor.
The 27-year-old joined his new team from Kazakhstan side Irtysh Pavlodar after putting pen to paper on a one-year deal.
The player was released from his contract with Irtysh despite the fact that he only joined the club in January 2018.
His transfer was confirmed by the Turkish club on Twitter.
“WELCOME WELCOME! Our club has secured a one-year deal with Gbolahan Salami, a Nigerian striker who played for Irtysh Pavlodar last season.” The tweet read.
Aside the two aforementioned clubs, the former Sunshine Stars forward played for Red Star Belgrade of Serbia and Finnish club KuPS in Europe.
Salami also represented Nigeria’s U-20 and U-23 team before he made his debut for the senior side in 2014.
He went on to score three goals in 13 appearances for the three-time African champions.
Aminu Umar: Rizespor must look ahead: Caykur Rizespor forward, Aminu Umar believes his teammates need to look forward and not back if they are to rediscover their best form.
The Turkish Super Liga side are under scrutiny after Friday’s 0-0 draw with Erzurum BB and it appeared to confirm that they team is on a downward curve.
“We must think about the future and try to be focused.
“Playing a goalless draw with Erzurum hurts, but we must stay united. Being on two points is not a tragedy.
“We are on course on all fronts and we hope our season will take off at the right time.”
Aminu Umar is on a season-loan to Rizespor from Osmanlispor.
Abdul Ajagun (KV Kortrijk): The former Flying Eagles midfielder was an unused substitute when his team secured a 2-0 win at Sporting Charleroi.
Uche Agbo (Standard Liege): He was an unused substitute when his club battled to a 3-2 win over St. Truiden.
Taiwo Awoniyi (Gent): He was introduced in the 68th min of his team’s 2-1 defeat of Lokeren.
Arnaut Danjuma and Dennis Bonaventure (Club Brugge): Bonaventure opened scoring as early as the 3rd min while his teammate, Danjuma was substituted in the 64th min of their club’s 2-1 defeat of Anderlecht.
Osimhen may sign permanent Charleroi deal: New Charleroi loan signing, Victor Osimhen might end up joining the top club on a permanent deal from VfL Wolfsburg of Germany.
This is sequel to confirmation that Charleroi has an option to buy him from Wolfsburg in after his season-long loan deal in Belgium.
Osimhen has a contract with Wolfsburg till June 2020, but his inability to reach the German Bundesliga club’s main team has put his future with The Wolves in doubt.
He may now be heading for a turnaround of fortune, as Charleroi has an option to buy the 19-year-old striker by season’s end.
Osimhen has been at Wolfsburg since 2017 when they bought him for around 4 million Euros, but he has failed to score a goal in 14 appearances for the German club.
However, Osimhen must score goals for them after they sold their Iran striker, Kaveh Rezaei for a record transfer fee to Club Brugge.
Chuba Akpom (PAOK): He was introduced with eight mins left to play as his club secured a 1-0 win over Asteras Tripolis.
Stephen Odey (FC Zuerich): The former MFM forward fired blank when his team drew 1-1 at home to Swiss giants, FC Basel.
Bright Edomwonyi (Austria Wien): He led the line for 90 mins when his team played out a goalless draw away at SKN St. Poelten.
Austin Ejide (Hapoel Hadera): The former Super Eagles shot-stopper was in goal when his team secured a 2-1 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv.
John Ogu (Hapoel Beer-Sheva): He lasted the duration of his team’s 1-1 draw with Hapoel Kiryat Shmona.
Maduka Udeh (Zlate Moravce): Udeh played the last 9mins of his team’s 2-0 defeat of
Bankole Adekuoroye and David Nwolokor (SKF Sered): Bankole lasted 90 mins while Nwolokor was an unused substitute in their club’s 1-2 loss to Zeleziarne Podbrezova.
Rabiu Ibrahim(Slovan Bratislava): The former Golden Eaglets midfielder was not listed
when his club drew 3-3 with Trencin.
Udeh delighted over Michalovce win: Christopher Udeh, the 20-year-old AS Trencin player who is currently on loan at FC Vion Zlate in Slovakia has expressed his delight at his team’s return to winning ways following two consecutive defeats in the league.
The tall central defender said, “I am very happy we won today’s game two goal to Nil against Michalovce having lost our two matches in the ongoing Slovak Super Liga.”
The two-nil win was vital has it has help pushed the club to 9th place on the Slovak Super Liga Log.
The former GBS academy player who has been ever present for his team concluded by saying the win would significantly boost the moral of himself and his colleagues ahead of the team’s next clash where he is set to face off against former Nigeria Dream Team invitee, AbdulRahman Taiwo as he believes by God’s grace he and his teammates would pick maximum points against Nitra FC.
Emmanuel Odita (Mladost Lucani): The former Red Star Belgrade star was introduced in the 78th min of his team’s 1-1 draw with Rad Beograd.
Mike Ojala (FC Inter): He lasted 90 mins of his team’s goalless draw with RoPS.
Chrisantus Macauley and Faith Friday Obilor (HJK Helsinki): Chrisantus was introduced in the 77th min while Obilor made the starting line-up as their team defeated KuPS 1-0.
Godswill Ekpolo (Haecken): He lasted the duration of his club’s 6-0 thumping of
Moses Ogbu (Sirius): He was introduced in the 57th min and was cautioned four minutes later when his club suffered a 0-5 reverse against Malmoe FF.
Daniel Chima (FF Molde): He rose from the substitutes’ bench in the 75th min and scored a goal 15 mins later as his club suffered a 2-3 reverse against Ranheim.
Ifeanyi Mathew (Lillestrom): He lasted the duration of his club’s 3-1 win over Sandefjord.
Teidi aims for top 3 finish: Benjamim Opeyemi Teidi has expressed optimism that his club, FK Liepaja will finish in the top three of the Latvian top flight following their 2-0 victory against Jelgava.
Speaking at the weekend, the midfielder said, “After the win, we are presently placed 4th and as a team the target is to finish among the top 3 in the league. We are excited as a team that we are back to winning ways.”
The Kaduna-born player believes that the Latvian league is beginning to gain recognition follow their active participation in Europa League and the Champions League.
The player started his professional football career outside the shores of Nigeria from FC Gagra, Tibilis Georgia before moving to FK Liepaja, also in Latvia two months ago.
Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai): He continued his goal scoring form as he secured a share of the spoils for his team on 90 mins of the 2-2 draw against Hebei CFC.
Akpala joins Al Faisaly: Former Bendel Insurance forward, Joseph Akpala has joined Saudi Arabian club, Al Faisaly on a one-year deal with the option of another at season end.
Akpala who spent about a decade playing for various clubs in Belgium had an unsuccessful spell in Germany. The striker who made fringe appearances for the Super Eagles has now decided to try his luck in Asia.
Odah targets promotion with new club: Goalkeeper Okiemute Odah has disclosed that he hopes to help his new team Jeddah FC gain promotion to the top league in Saudi Arabia.
Odah has signed a season-long loan from Plateau United.
“I look forward to give my best in my new club. Our league starts on Tuesday. I am prepared and ready to give my best to contribute my quota for the team to gain promotion to the elite league of the country,” he told SCORENigeria
“The club are truly a professional side with modern training facilities and above all the welfare of the players is paramount and will ensure we achieve our targets.
“I am here to prove my worth a good goalkeeper and to make a living to take care of my family.”
Ogbeche becomes Highlanders’ first int’l signing: NorthEast Utd FC have completed their first international signing of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) by bringing onboard former PSG forward, Bartholomew Ogbeche.
The striker joined the team from Eredivisie club Willem II, where he scored 10 goals in 20 appearances last season.
Ogbeche came up the ranks of PSG to feature for the first team in 2001. He spent four years with the Les Parisiens making 57 appearances, while serving two loan spells in fellow French clubs. In 2005, he shifted base to UAE to play for Al-Jazira, before shifting to Spain a year later, as a part of Deportivo Alavés.
After a year in Greece playing for Kavala FC, the 33-year-old signed for English club Middlesbrough in 2011. After another brief spell in Spain for Xerez Club Deportivo, Ogbeche entered Dutch waters to ply his trade for SC Cambuur and then, Willem II. This will be his first stint in India, a challenge this experienced forward is sure to relish.
CS Sfaxien wants more cash for Sokari: Several clubs have failed in their attempts to sign former Enyimba midfielder, Kingsley Sokari as his club, CS Sfaxien has declared that only a significant offer would make them part with the services of the player.
CS Sfaxien is billed to participate in four competitions for the 2018/2019 season as they will be involved in the Arab Champions League, CAF Confederation Cup, Tunisian Cup and League matches.
The midfielder who had featured in the Nigeria U-20 and U-23 setup said he would patiently wait for his chance with the Super Eagles even as he hopes it would happen sooner rather than later.
Afolabi fined, banned over fake documents: Former Sunshine Stars forward, Okiki Afolabi has been fined and banned by the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) for using fake documents to facilitate his move to Egyptian giants Ismaily.
The 23-year-old scored an impressive 23 goals to help Jimma Aba Jifar win the Ethiopian league title last season.
His devastating goals record for the club earned him a move to Egypt. The player was found guilty of using fake documents for the transfer and has been banned for six months in addition to being fined to the tune of 25,000 Ethiopian Birrar (about N326,715:00).
The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) Disciplinary Committee has also filed a complaint with world football’s governing body, FIFA meaning that he could still be sanctioned.
Onu signs for Al Hilal, eyes call-up: Defensive midfielder, Emmanuel Okwudili Onu has landed a mouthwatering contract with Sudanese Premier League side Al Hilal.
The 19-year-old was signed in a one year deal for an undisclosed fee.
Onu had a stint at Isa Town in Bahrain as well as RC Athletico of Cape Town in South Africa before moving to Sudan.
According to a top source, manager of the Sudanese side, Lamine N’diaye, did everything possible to land the player which he describes as ‘solid’.
A native of Obe in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu state, the talented player who has featured in all four league games for his club since joining Al Hilal says his focus at the moment is to help his club win the league and qualify for the continental championships, but added that playing for the Nigerian team will be a great opportunity.