…Okwuosa escapes sack in South Africa
Ahead of the September 8, all-important African Nations Cup qualifier against Seychelles, Super Eagles players and hopefuls turned in impressive displays for their clubs in Europe at the weekend.
Two players who could add more bite to the Super Eagles’ attack if they commit their future to Nigeria Arnault Danjuma and Dennis Bonaventure both scored a goal each in Club Brugge’s big win against Zulte-Waregem.
For Victor Moses, things got further worse for him as he was nowhere near the substitutes’ bench of Chelsea when the team secured another win at the weekend.
In another extensive package, the News Editor, ADEBAYO OLODAN reports the exploits of Nigerian players abroad.
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal): He was not listed when his team defeated Cardiff 3-2.
Leon Balogun (Brighton Hove Albion): He was an unused substitute when his team drew 2-2 with Fulham.
Victor Moses (Chelsea) & Nnamdi Oforboh (Bournemouth): Moses played no part in the 2-0 win over Bournemouth while Flying Eagles midfielder, Oforboh did not travel with the Cherries.
Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City): Ndidi lasted 90 mins while Iheanacho was introduced in the 61st min of their club’s 1-2 loss at home to Liverpool.
Phillip Billing (Huddersfield) & Ademola Lookman (Everton): Danish-born player of Nigerian descent, Biling was on target in his team’s 1-1 draw with Everton. The towering midfielder who went the full distance of the encounter headed home from a corner to give The Terriers the lead after 34 mins. Lookman entered the fray in the 57th minute when he replaced Theo Walcott.
Tom Dele-Bashiru and Nathanael Ogbeta (Man City): The duo were not considered as their team secured a 2-1 win over Newcastle Utd.
Bournemouth keeper, Oluwabusola headlines U-20 roster
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has confirmed that Bournemouth youth-team goalkeeper; Joseph Ayomide Oluwabusola is poised to make his international debut for Nigeria after he was included in the Golden Eaglets 20-player squad list for the 2019 Africa U17 Cup of Nations zonal qualifiers.
An analysis of the roster revealed that three goalkeepers, six defenders, eight midfielders and three strikers were in the traveling party to the Republic of the Niger on Friday.
Five of the 20 players selected for the tournament by Head Coach Manu Garba are from the U15 National Team, otherwise known as Future Eagles.
A total of 16 players and members of the technical crew and backroom staff departed Abuja aboard an ASKY airline flight on Friday morning.
The remaining four players as well as Head Coach Manu Garba and Team Administrator Sirajo Hassan, who could not travel on Friday as there were not enough seats available on the flight, will fly from Abuja on Saturday morning.
The Eaglets will play their first match of the tournament on Monday, against their Burkina Faso counterparts, before taking on Cote d’Ivoire on Thursday and Benin Republic next week Sunday.
Oghenkaro Etebo (Stoke City): Etebo had his fill of play at their away match against West Brom the match ended 2-1 in favour of West Brom
Ebelechi Eze and Osayi-Samuel Bright (QPR): Eze enjoyed playing time while Bright was on the substitute list in their away match against Birmingham, which ended in a goalless draw.
Sadiq Umar (Rangers): He was not considered when his team lost 0-1 to Celtic.
Efe Ambrose (Hibernian): The former Celtic defender lasted the entirety of his team’s 2-2 draw with Livingston.
Akpoguma out for 2 weeks
Hoffenheim defender, Kevin Akpoguma has been ruled out for an estimated two weeks after doctors confirmed he sustained an orbital fracture, reports Futbalgalore.com.
The 22-year-old sustained the injury in last Saturday’s German Bundesliga game where his side defeated Freiburg 3-1.
Akpoguma who has been enjoying regular playtime in the top flight though devastated by the news says he is already looking forward to regaining full fitness.
“I feel very bad that this injury has come at this time when I have been enjoying my football,” he said.
“But then it is part of the game and I have to deal with it. I only hope a heal quicker so a can rejoin my teammates very soon.”
The Nigeria Football Federation have been on the case of Akpoguma for over three years, German-based Technical Study Group member Darlington Omodiagbe attempted to convince the ex-Germany U20 skipper to change allegiance to Nigeria without success.
Akpoguma has racked up 64 international appearances for Germany’s youth teams since he first played for the U16s against Cyprus in a friendly on February 15, 2011.
Jamilu Collins (SC Paderborn 07): He played for 84 mins before being substituted in his team’s 2-2 draw against Bochum.
Kenneth Omeruo (Leganes): He watched his team’s 1-4 loss to Real Madrid from the substitutes’ bench.
Orji Okonkwo (Bologna): He was introduced in the 75th min of the 0-3 loss to Inter Milan.
Toafiq Jibril (Portimonense SC): He helped his team to its first point of the season with a 2-2 home draw against Santa Clara.
Stanley Awurum (Varzim): He was substituted after 84 mins of his club’s 0-1 defeat at home to Pacos Ferreira.
Kelechi Nwakali (Porto B): He lasted 77 mins as his team defeated Academico 2-1.
Kelechi aims first team action at Rio Ave
Versatile starlet, Kelechi John has said he is enjoying his time in Portugal but won’t be ultimately satisfied until he breaks into the first team of his club, Rio Ave.
Kelechi, who can play as a central defender, right-full-back, left-full-back as well as the midfield said football in Portugal is not different from what is being played in other parts of Europe but it’s absolutely different from the style in Africa but however admitted he is happy he has been able to adjust to the club’s philosophy.
John has been a mainstay with Rio Ave’s Under-23 side where he is highly regarded but the 19-year-old believes if he can push himself a little harder he can break into Rio Ave’s main squad.
He also said the coaches in the teams (both U-23 and the main Squad) have been very supportive and have really played huge roles in his development as he seemed to be learning new tricks daily.
Kelechi John had signed a five-year deal with Rio Ave following his move from Nigerian side Plateau United FC of Jos in 2016.
Brian Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow): He was an unused substitute when his team lost 1-2 to Krasnodar.
Ogenyi Onazi and Anthony Nwakaeme (Trabzonspor) & Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray): Onazi scored in the 3rd min and lasted 77 mins while his teammate, Nwakaeme got a brace and assisted the fourth goal to emerge the Man of the Match when their team defeated Galatasaray 4-0 for whom Onyekuru lasted 81 mins.
Onazi happy to end 5 months goal drought
Super Eagles vice captain, Ogenyi Onazi said it will be nice to continue scoring for Trabzonspor after getting off the mark for the Turkish Super League club this season in Saturday’s 4-0 home win over Galatasaray.
Onazi opened scoring for Trabzonspor tucking home a rebound shot in the third minute of the match.
The goal was Onazi l’s first since March and he believes he can continue that if the team continues playing like they did against Galatasaray.
“I give thanks to God for the goal,” Onazi said in his post match interview.
“I’m happy to be on the score sheet once again, it feels great.
“We knew it was going to be tough against Galatasaray and this victory means a lot to us and the fans.”
The win moves Trabzonspor to fifth in the Turkish Super Lig table. They face Alanyaspor in their next game away after the International break.
Chukwuma Akabueze (Boluspor): The former Kwara Utd forward lasted the duration of his team’s 1-0 defeat of Afjet Afyonspor.
Stephen Odey (FC Zuerich): The former MFM forward lasted 90 mins of his team’s 0-1 loss to FC Lugano.
Danjuma, Bonaventure score in Brugge’s big win
Arnault Danjuma and Dennis Bonaventure (Club Brugge): Danjuma and Bonaventure scored in the 50th and 37th min respectively as their club secured a 5-2 away win at Zulte-Waregem. While Danjuma who scored a delightful curler lasted the duration of the match, Bonaventure was substituted in the 44th min after sustaining an injury.
The result ensured Club Brugge remained top of the division’s standings with 16 points from their first six games, winning five of those.
Danjuma who has ties with Netherlands due to his maternal parentage was recently named in the Jong Oranje 27-man provisional squad list for games against England and Scotland next month.
Uche Agbo (Standard Liege): He was an unused substitute when his club lost 1-2 to former club of Henry Onyekuru, Eupen.
Azango admits Gent transfer came so fast
Philip Azango has said he was surprised that it took him just over a season at AS Trencin of Slovakia to make the big move to Belgian club KAA Gent.
Azango, 21, has signed a three-year contract with Gent after some impressive showings in just 26 league games for Slovak club AS Trencin.
He is a direct replacement for compatriot Moses Simon, who has left for La Liga side Levante UD.
“I knew I will leave Trencin, but I never thought it would come so fast,” he told SCORENigeria
“I am glad I am starting a new life with a new challenge with Gent.
“I hope to do my best to justify the confidence the club have in me.”
He moved to Slovakia in the 2017/18 season and three goals in 22 league outings for Trencin.
This season, he has made four appearances and starred as Trencin dumped Feyenoord out of the Europa League.
The former Plateau United and Nasarawa United nippy winger is following the same route Moses Simon and Samuel Kalu charted to Europe – GBS Academy Bukuru to AS Trencin in Slovakia before the move to Gent.
Another Remo Stars player signs for Fremad
Another Remo Stars player has signed for Danish top flight club Fremad Amarger the same club that unveiled Sodiq Rasheed .
It is another song entirely for Anthony who signed a season loan deal too like his former team mate Sodiq Rasheed .
Automatically both of them will be playing for Same Danish club in Denmark.
It could be recalled that Remo Stars FC just concluded deal three weeks ago where two players from Remo star joined Cd Faìranse in Portugal.
It might interest you to know that Remo Stars are gradually producing players for outside the shores of this country.
Remo Stars team who played in the elite league 2017/2018 season got relegated immediately after the season ended.
Nieketien inks 3-yr Hadera deal
Former Giwa FC teenage forward, Godfrey Abonti Nieketien has finally signed a deal with Israeli top-flight side Hapoel Hadera.
The player who has been on trials at the club for some time now was assured of a professional contract if he performs in test games with the Club’s Under-19 side and was finally rewarded with a deal today by the Club’s management.
The duration of the deal is for three years and information reaching allnigeriasoccer.com indicates that the 18-year-old has been asked to resume training with the main squad after spending much time with the U19s during trials.
Godfrey Nieketien links up with the experienced Nigerian International goalkeeper Austin Ejide at Hapoel Hadera.
Hapoel Hadera are currently fourth on the log of the Israeli topflight behind Hapoel Hafia, Maccabi Petah Tikva and Maccabi Tel Aviv.
They face Beitar Jerusalem in the second round of matches on Monday, September 3.
Maduka Udeh Christopher (FC Vion Zlate): The center half was inspirational in the match against Zemplín Michalovce winning 2-0 at home.
Ubong Ekpai (Victoria Plezen): He was introduced in the 60th min of his club’s 0-4 loss to Slavia Praha.
Raków Czestochowa signs Nwakali
Polish second division side Raków Czestochowa has announced the signing of Chidiebere Nwakali (21) from Manchester City on a two-year deal.
Taiye Taiwo (RoPS): He was at his peak when his clubs secured a 2-1 win over Honka in their Veikkausliiga clash.
Ichull Lordson (Kajaani FC): The Kwara Football Academy (KFA) graduated scored a goal in the 45th min as his team secured a 3-1 win over FC KTP.
Benjamin Tiedi (FK Liepaja): The midfielder lasted the duration of his team’s 0-1 loss to Riga.
Fatai joins Dinamo Minsk
Veteran striker, Kehinde Fatai has completed his transfer to Belarusian Premier League outfit Dinamo Minsk.
The 28-year-old moves to Belarus on a free transfer after his contract with Russian side FC Ufa was terminated earlier this summer.
The former Flying Eagles striker will wear the number seven shirts at Dinamo Minsk.
His transfer was confirmed by the club via a statement on their official website.
It read: “Today, Nigerian striker, Kehinde Fatai signed an official contract with Dinamo Minsk.”
Kehinde Fatai began his professional career at Romanian third division outfit, Farul Constanta in 2007 and spent three years at the club before he moved to top-flight side, Astra Giurgui in 2010.
The attacker also featured for clubs like Club Brugge (Belgium) and Sparta Prague (Czech Republic) before he moved to Russia with FC Ufa.
Raheem Lawal (Al Ittihad Kalba): The former Real Betis midfielder tasted defeat on his debut as Al-Wahda thrashed his team 6-2.
John Mikel Obi (Tianjin Teda): He played from the start to the end as his team suffered a 0-2 loss against Guangzhou R&F.
Adegbite set for league title
Former Rangers international striker, Razak Adegbite and two other compatriots who currently play for CD Primeiro De Agosto in the Angolan league are set for the podium to be crowned Champions if they can secure a win in the team’s last league match at home to Quharo Lobango FC.
Speaking at the weekend, the striker said, “We can’t wait to be crowned the champions of the league as we have worked so hard to be where we are.”
The former Sunshine Star of Akure Striker, concluded by saying he and his colleagues would not have enough time to celebrate as their attention would switch after the match to their CAF Champions League Quarter final and the team is focused on winning a double this season.
Chisom Chikatara (El Gounah): He came on for Geddo in the second stanza of his team’s 3-2 win at home to El Dakhleya.
Okwuosa escapes sack in South Africa
New Chippa United FC head coach, Eric Tinkler has confirmed that former skipper, James Okwuosa will remain at the club after previous manger Dan Malesela was going to show him the door.
The 27-year-old centre back has been at the club for about five years following his move from Nigeria.