…forgotten striker, Simy scores at both ends
It was a tale of different fortunes for Nigerian players at the weekend, as Henry Onyekuru celebrated his call-up to the mainstream Eagles by scoring twice in Galatasaray’s famous win.
Elsewhere, Kenneth Omeruo and Isaac Success continued their imperious form at Leganes and Watford by both starring for 90 mins.
As for Leon Aderemi Balogun and Victor Moses, they have continued to be sidelined by their Premiership managers and it is expected that the latter will force a move to another club in the January transfer window to enjoy playing time.
In yet another comprehensive report, the News Editor, ADEBAYO OLODAN writes on the performances of Super Eagles players and prospects in Europe and Africa.
Leon Balogun (Brighton Hove Albion): He was benched for the ninth straight match and watched proceedings of his team’s 0-1 loss to Cardiff City.
Isaac Success (Watford) & Michael Obafemi (Southampton): The former school boy international played all 90 mins as his club earned a hard fought 1–1 draw while Obafemi was introduced in the 90th min for Southampton.
Philip Billing (Huddersfield): He was in action for 90 mins as his club was held to a 1-1 draw by West Ham United.
Victor Moses (Chelsea): The former Wigan winger played no part as his team played a surprise goalless draw with Everton.
Ndidi shines in emotional match
Ndidi led the way in performance and game time in an emotional match with Burnley which was used to mourn The Foxes’ late chairman. The match ended goalless as Ndidi came close to scoring as the former Genk of Belgium defender-turned-midfielder tried from range in the 58th minute but it was comfortable for the Clarets goalie Joe Hart, before seeing his effort from close range blocked five minutes later.
Meanwhile, Iheanacho was sent on in the 60th min to partner Jamie Vardy in attack, but got a yellow card in the 76th minute. At the end, statistics showed that Ndidi was the player with the most impressive individual performance in his 12th successive start in the English topflight.
Ndidi got close to breaking the deadlock on at least three occasions, as he headed over the bar in the last move of the first half, his shot from distance was saved by Joe Hart in the 58th and he saw his close range effort blocked five minutes later.
The 21-year-old Ndidi topped the player ratings, with 7.97 out of 10 to place, ahead of Burnley duo Matthew Lowton and Charlie Taylor, who got 7.58 and 7.48 respectively.
He had a total of five shots with two on target, made two key passes, won ten aerial duels, was the top interceptor with three and made two tackles over the course of ninety minutes.
Balogun scores again for Arsenal youth team
Folarin Balogun is one goal shy of hitting the ten-goal mark for Arsenal U18s in all competitions after scoring his ninth of the season as the Gunners thrashed Fulham 4-0 in their second group match in the U18 Premier League Cup on Saturday afternoon.
Goals from Spencer-Adams (2), Martin and Balogun saw the Gunners record a comprehensive win over the Cottagers.
The 17-year-old has been on fire since the start of the 2018-19 season and has been included in the U23 squad for Premier League 2 matches and featured for the U21s in their recent away win against League Two side Forest Green Rovers in the EFL Trophy.
Balogun is the leading scorer in the U18 Premier League South with 8 goals to his name ahead of Troy Parrot (Tottenham Hotpur), Thierry Nevers (Reading) and the Nigerian midfielder Faustino Anjorin (Chelsea).
His hat-trick against Reading rates as his best individual performance of the season so far.
The center forward has caps for England’s U17 and U18 national teams plus United States U18s.
Balogun has cited Edinson Cavani and Robert Lewandowski as his role models. He is now a second-year scholar at Arsenal.
Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City): He played for 76 mins before being substituted his team’s goalless draw away to Nottingham Forest. The diminutive midfielder has played 13 times this season for his club without scoring a goal.
Fikayo Tomori (Derby County) & Tammy Abraham (Aston Villa): Chelsea loanee, Abraham scored his fifth goal for Villa with 12 minutes to go in their 3-0 defeat of Fikayo’s Derby.
Emeka Eze (SK Sturm Graz): He was cautioned in the 47th min and was substituted in the 87th min of his club’s goalless draw with SKN St. Poelten.
Omeruo in 5-star performance
Rock solid defender, Kenneth Omeruo of CD Leganes is gradually becoming a consistent defence mechanism for his Spanish team in the Laliga.
The Chelsea loanee proved himself as a bus stop within the defence arena as he poses a five star performance in an away tie against Girona.
Speaking about the match to newsmen, the former U-20 world cup defender said it was not an easy game, having the home team fighting at all cause to get a win.
“Our opponent were fierce to the core, but we were battle ready, everywhere department of our team in the field of play were actively performing.
“It was an interesting match, though it ended in a barren draw, we did lost some good goal opportunities but all the same returning back with one point is not a total loss for us.
“It is better to have a point rather than having nothing at all,” he posited.
He added that his club is striving hard to go past the relegation zone.
“For me personally I will always continue to give my best in the field of play to make such my team remains in the Elite Spanish League.”
Anthony Ujah and Karim Onisowo (Mainz 05): Ujah sat out all 90 mins in his club’s 3–1 away win over Freiburg while Onisiwo rode his luck with a mazy dribble to slot home his first goal of the season in the 75th minute, ten minutes after coming off the bench. Ujah has played nine times for Mainz this season but is yet to register a goal.
Rohr spies on Bazee in Hannover win
Highly rated German-Nigerian forward Noah Joel Sarenren-Bazee made his first Bundesliga appearance of the season for Hannover 96 in their 2-1 win over Wolfsburg.
22 year old Bazee was handed a start in his first appearance of the season and he didn’t disappoint for the period of time he was on the pitch before his substitution in the 70th minute.
Bazee was effective in defence when he had to and exciting on the ball as well. His performance earned him a high rating among players who featured for his team in the game.
This season he was relegated to the B team of the Bundesliga side and after proving his fitness in three games for the team in the German fourth division he is back with the first team.
Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has his scouts on the forward who pledged his allegiance to Nigeria ahead of Germany but fitness and injury denied him the chance to make his debut for Nigeria.
He was with them at their training camp in London but had to leave after falling ill few days to the friendly game against Senegal where he would have made his international bow for Nigeria.
Collins stars for Paderborn in 8-goal thriller
Jamilu Collins was once again in the thick of action for his German second division side Paderborn in an entertaining game against Holstein Kiel which ended in a 4-4 draw with his team needing a last minute stoppage time goal to snatch a point.
Collins laid to rest any doubts about his fitness ahead of Nigeria’s upcoming international engagements with a solid display at left back after recovering from the knock that led to his substitution ten minutes before the end of their 0-2 loss against MSV Duisburg last weekend.
He played a huge role in his team going into the half time break leading 3-1 but was helpless as Holstein Kiel fought back and were close to stealing all three points with ten minutes to go before Ben Zolinski levelled for Paderborn with virtually the last kick in regulation time.
Since making his international debut for Nigeria, Collins has grown in leaps and bounds with reports linking the 24 year old with a move away from the German second division next season, however he still has two years to run on his deal with Paderborn.
Joel Obi (Chievo Verona) & Orji Okwonkwo (Bologna): He scored his first Serie A goal this season as his team came from a goal down to hold Okwonkwo’s club to a 2-2 draw.
The goal was Obi’s first goal in the Serie A in eight months. Obi last scored a Serie A goal in March in the colours of Torino where the Bulls ran out 4-0 winners over Cagliari.
The game was Obi’s seventh in the Serie A this season while Okonkwo was an unused substitute.
William Troost-Ekong (Udinese): He featured in a three-man centre-back as his team lost 2-0 away to Empoli.
Ekong’s Udinese are now without a win in their last seven Serie A games and he has made 12 Serie A starts this season since he arrived from Turkish side, Bursaspor.
Forgotten striker, Simy scores at both ends
19-year- old former youth international, Kingsley Michael posted a five star performance for Serie B side Perugia in their 2-1 win over Crotone for whom Super Eagles fringe forward, Simy Nwankwo scored at both ends.
Simy equalised scored for Crotone after Perugia took the lead in the 23rd minute thanks to a through pass from Kingsley Michael who was on from start to finish.
Michael had the last laugh in the game as Simy scored an unfortunate own goal which handed Perugia all three points at the Stadio Renato Curi, the home ground of Perugia.
The game was the 9th game Michael who is on loan from Bologna is playing with a goal to his name so far while Simy has found the back of the net three times in 12 games for Crotone this season.
A late run of goals towards the end of last season helped Simy to force his way into the squad of Nigeria for the World Cup, a form he is yet to hit this season in the Serie B following Crotone’s relegation to the second division.
So far he has been in and out of the starting line up and it has also cost him his spot in the Nigerian team as back up to first choice striker Odion Ighalo with Watford Isaac Success taking his spot in the Nigerian team.
Ogenyi Onazi and Anthony Nwaekeme (Trabzonspor): The duo put in a 90 mins performance when their club suffered a 0-5 humiliating defeat against Yeni Malatyaspor.
Lanre Kehinde (Ankaragucu): The youngster was on for the last 12mins of his team’s 0-2 loss to Konyaspor.
Aminu Umar (Rizespor): The former Flying Eagles striker lasted 90mins of his team’s 1-2 loss to Istanbul Basaksehir.
Onyekuru sends warning to South Africa with brace
Henry Onyekuru scored a brace as Turkish champions Galatasaray beat home team Kayserispor 3-0.
The 21-year-old Everton loanee was on target in the 18th and 74th min to prove he has recovered fully from injury and will be available for selection for the Super Eagles in South Africa next weekend.
In what was his 12th league appearance of the season, the forward made a massive impact on his side and helped them move up to 2nd place on the log with 23 points out of 12 matches played.
He has now scored four goals in 10 league appearances for Turkish champions.
They are four points behind leaders Istanbul Basaksehir.
Unnamed Russian clubs, others jostle for Dimgba
Former U-23 international, Stanley Dimgba, who is presently a free agent, is said to be attracting interest from at least eight clubs at home and abroad.
”It’s unfortunate that some part of the media will be publishing false news without confirming such.
”I’m easily accessible and as I speak to you, we are studying some offers from Russia, three North African clubs, Enyimba and three other NPFL clubs and no pen has been put to paper yet,” his agent, Endurance Iseri Ogbemudia stated
Dimgba is ready to offer his services to any of his suitors that can meet his aspirations for next season, including his last employer Enyimba.
He was part of the Dream Team VI squad that won the Africa U23 Cup of Nations in 2015.
Agu relishes Setubal win over Feirense
Mikel Agu starred for 90 minutes for Vitoria de Setubal who secured a 2-1 win over CD Feirense in Portuguese top flight league game, and the 25 –year-old is happy to go into the international break with his club moving into eighth spot on the log.
Agu posted another solid performance for Lito Vidigal’s team at the Estadio do Bonfim as Frederic Mendy and Jhonder Cadiz scored in either half to cancel out the visitor’s equaliser on 33 minutes.
Agu nearly got on the score sheet, but his powerful shot in the 60th minute went narrowly off-target.
The FC Porto loanee then sat back to help protect his team’s lead for all three points which has now taken them to just four points off a Europa League spot.
Agu, is expected to arrive the Super Eagles camp on Sunday ahead next week’s 2019 AFCON qualifier against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa, as well as the international friendly with Uganda.
Speaking with newsmen on his preparation for the match against South Africa, Agu said: “I’ve confirmed my ticket and I will definitely be in camp by Sunday evening, God willing. Attention has shifted to helping the Super Eagles to get a good result against South Africa and I will do my best if given the chance to play.”
Victor Osimhen (Sporting Charleroi): The former U-17 striker lasted 90 mins of his team’s 2-1 defeat of Club Brugge.
Blessing Eleke (Luzern): He rose from the substitutes’ bench in the 54th min and scored his team’s fourth goal in the 75th min of the 4-1 defeat of Lugano.
Switzerland targets Basel’s Okafor
FC Basel talent, Noah Okafor has moved a step closer to making his debut for Switzerland’s senior team.
The winger has been named in the Switzerland U-21 squad for the first time in his career ahead of the international match against France on Friday, November 16.
Having said that, Okafor is unlikely to make his debut against the French as he has been undergoing rehabilitation after suffering an injury while on international duty last month.
The 18-year-old suffered a tear in the abductor muscle in a UEFA U19 Championship qualifier against Spain on October 16, which led to his substitution in the 11th minute, three days after scoring in a 2-0 win against Andorra.
The Swiss Football Association presumably wants to fast track Okafor into their senior squad as he was handed a maiden U21 invitation without playing for the U20s.
He has earned caps for Switzerland at U15, U17, U18 and U19 level, and has been labelled the Next Kylian Mbappe due to his blistering pace and ability to beat opponents in one-on- one scenarios.
This season, Okafor has made nine appearances for FC Basel’s first team across all competitions, scoring one goal.
Shikoze Udoji (Enosis Paralimni): He lasted the duration of his team’s 0-3 loss to APOEL Nicosia.
Kingsley Onuegbu (Nea Salamis): He was in the thick of action for 90 mins when his team suffered a 0-1 loss to Anorthosis.
Emmanuel Ogude and Seyi Adekoya (Vendsyssel FF): Ogude was issued a Yellow card in the 32nd min and was substituted in the 46th min while Adekoya played the last 20 mins of their club’s 0-1 loss at Hobro.
Marvin Egho (Randers FC): He was issued cautioned in the 36th min and was substituted in the 71stmin of his team’s 1-1 draw with FC Nordsjaelland.
Emeka Umeh (Trencin): Umeh played the last 14 mins of his club’s 0-2 loss to Zilina.
Abdulrahman Taiwo (Nitra): He lasted the duration of his team’s 1-2 loss to Slovan Bratislava.
Samuel Nnamani (AFC Eskilstuna): He bagged two goals in the 2-2 draw with Gefle on the final day of the season in the Swedish Superettan.
The 23-year-old attacker opened and closed the scoring in the 18th and 89th minute respectively.
Moses Ogbu (Sirius): He was on from start to finish when his team suffered a 0-1 loss at Djurgaarden.
Juhani Ojala and Godswill Ekpolo (Haecken): Ojala was issued a surprise red card after only 22mins while Ekpolo lasted the duration of their team’s 0-1 loss at home to IFK Norrkoeping.
Kennedy Igboananike, Michael Omoh and Isaac Edegware (Oerebro): Igboananike lasted 65mins, Omoh came on in the 60th min while Edegware was a non playing substitute in their club’s 1-3 loss to IFK Gothenburg.
Chima Akas (Kalmar FF): The former Enyimba captained was cautioned in the 29th min but lasted 90 mins of his team’s 0-1 loss at home to AIK.
Tosin on song
Aiyegun Tosin is one of the goal talismans for top flight club FK Ventspils of Latvia.
The 20-year- old talented midfielder is now the toast of all fans as far as the Latvian league is concerned.
Aiyegun has never ceased to amaze his spectators when it come placing the ball behind the net of his opponent.
Aiyegun who scored the winning goal against Metta / LU in their last match gave his team a resounding victory.
It could be recalled that the midfielder has consecutively second in their last two matches played.
From statistics Aiyegun shots are an average of 3.75 goals per game in club competitions.
It may interest you to know that Aiyegun Tosin is the only player presently in FK Ventspils with a record 15 goals in 30 matches to his credit which no players has emerged to surpass the record. His 15 goals include Europa League and Virsliga.
Aiyegun this seasons has also noted 0 assists, played 360 minutes, with 4 times he played game in first line.
Akinbola Akinyemi, Akinsola Akinyemi and Onyekachi Ugwuadu (Sandnes): Akinbola lasted 90 mins, while the duo of Akinsola and Onyehachi were unused substitutes when their club secured a 4-3 away win at Levanger.
Michael Ogungbaro (Aasane): He was on for the duration of his team’s 0-1 loss to Nest Sotra.
Charles Ezeh and Moses Ebiye (Stroemmen): Ezeh was cautioned in the 43rd min and was substituted in the 72nd min just as Ebiye was taken off in the 65th min in their club’s 0-1 reverse at home to Aalesund
Bede Amarachi Osuji (Gorica): He logged 90 mins performance as his team crashed 0-1 at NS Mura.
Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa Utd): The Super Eagles keeper kept a clean sheet in the South African top division as his club drew away to Kaizer Chiefs. The match was Akpeyi’s 10th league appearance for the Chilli Boys this season and his fourth clean sheet.
The 32-year-old had conceded 10 goals this season, and not more than two in any match.
Why I lost first choice spot to Uzoho – Akpeyi
Chippa United shot stopper Daniel Akpeyi has for the first time reveal the reason why he is no longer the first choice goalkeeper of the senior national team of Nigeria.
Akpeyi was the deputy to Carl Ikeme but fitness issues saw him relinquish his spot to Ikechukwu Ezenwa before Francis Uzoho stepped up to claim the role just before the World Cup 2018 in Russia.
Uzoho is out injured ahead of Nigeria’s upcoming international engagements against South Africa in the AFCON 2019 Qualifiers and the friendly against Uganda leaving a gap for Akpeyi to slug it out with Ezenwa for the first choice spot.
Speaking to Totorinews.com, the 32-year-old revealed the errors he made in previous games cost him his spot but he will win it back as he now know what to do when the Eagles resume camp.
“I know that if I keep on working very hard in training and in matches for my club, Chippa United, I can still regain my number one place in the Super Eagles.
“We have good goalkeepers in the Super Eagles and I lost my position due to one or two errors I committed while in goal, but that is in the past and I strongly believe that if I continue to work hard, I will regain my number one position in the Super Eagles.” Akpeyi said.
“To be in the Super Eagles squad is a great honour. I learn new things whenever I am in the camp of the national team. There is no doubt that we have good goalkeepers in the national team and I will keep on improving my game to become number one again in the Super Eagles,” he added.