With the global football and other activities being hampered by the spread of coronavirus, leading to several league matches postponed in major leagues of Europe, quite a number of Super Eagles players were in action for their respective club sides in Africa and across Europe. Ejuke continued to set the Dutch league on fire as he was on target again for Heerenven in away win against Twente. Anthony Nwakeme, was also at his best for his Turkish side netting yet another goal but his teammate and for captain of the Eagles, Mikel Obi was shown his third red of his career when he was booked for the second time in the match.
MIKE ADEYEMI, again traverse the football world and brings detailed reports of Super Eagles players’ and the prospective ones’ performance in their various club sides for your reading pleasure. Enjoy it.
Leon Balogun and Semi Ajayi (West Brom vs Wigan): Balogun put up a superb performance as Wigan Athletic recorded a stunning 1-0 away win against leaders West Bromwich Albion in their Championship clash at the weekend.
Balogun featured for 69th minute in the game before he was replaced by Kal Naismith.
West Brom paraded Semi Ajayi for 90 minutes in the game.
…feared injured ahead of Eagles squad announcement
Brighton & Hove loanee Leon Balogun could not complete Wigan Athletic’s shock 1-0 win over Championship pacesetters West Brom at the Hawthorns.
The central defender had to made way for Kal Naismith midway through the second half.
Wigan Athletic admitted it was an injury-enforced substitution as the Nigerian received some treatment on the pitch before he was replaced.
Out of favour at the Seagulls, Balogun has been enjoying a new lease of life since transferring to the Latics, helping goalkeeper David Marshall post three clean sheets in the last three league games.
The initial update from England would be worrying news for Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr who is expected to confirm his roster for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sierra Leone as from Monday and Balogun was surely in contention to make the squad list, having returned to form.
Since the conclusion of last summer’s Africa Cup of Nations, Balogun has not played a game for the Super Eagles.
Osayi-Samuel and Ebere Eze (QPR vs Birmingham City): Bright Osayi-Samuel bagged an assist in Queens Park Rangers 2-2 home draw against Birmingham City.
Osayi-Samuel and Ebere Eze were in action for 90 minutes in the game.
Samuel Chukuweze (Athletico Bilbao vs Villarreal): Samuel was in action in Villarreal’s 1-0 away defeat to Athletico Bilbao.
Chukwueze replaced Santi Carzola in the 67th minute.
The 20-year-old has scored three goals in 25 league outings for the Yellow Submarine this season.
Victor Osimhen and Moses Simon (Lille vs Nantes): Victor Osimhen was on the winning side as Lille recorded a 1-0 away win against Moses Simon’s Nantes in a French Ligue 1 clash.
Osimhen and Simon featured for 90 minutes in the keenly contested encounter.
Benjamin Andre netted the winning goal for Lille two minutes before the hour mark.
Osimhen has featured in 26 league games for Lille this season and scored 13 goals, while Simon has hit the back of the net five times in 25 appearances for Nantes.
Zirkzee Scores 15 minutes into full Bundesliga debut
Netherlands U19 international of Nigerian descent Joshua Zirkzee scored fifteen minutes into his full Bundesliga debut as Bayern Munich registered a 6-0 victory over Hoffenheim.
The 18-year-old striker was handed his first start by manager Hans-Dieter Flick following the injury suffered by the clinical Polish striker Robert Lewandowski in the Champions League tie at Chelsea earlier this week.
Prior to the fixture, the teenager had already scored two goals off the bench in Bundesliga matches against SC Freiburg and Wolfsburg back in December 2019.
Leading the line, Zirkzee put Bayern Munich 3-0 up when he controlled the ball and slotted past goalkeeper Oliver Baumann.
Bayern’s other scorers were Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich, Philippe Coutinho (2) and Leon Goretzka.
The game was suspended for some minutes in the second half after hateful banners targeting Hoffenheim’s majority shareholder Dietmar Hopp in the Bayern fan block.
Chidera Ejuke (Twente vs Heerenven): Ejuke scored and bagged an assist in Heerenven’s 3–2 away win against Twente at the De Groslch Veste, Enschede.
Ejuke scored Heerenven’s second goal of the game and provided the assist for Joey Veerman’s third.
The 22-year-old has now scored nine goals in 24 league appearances for his club this season.
Cyriel Dessers (Ado Den Haag vs Heracles Almelo): Dessers was unable to add to his 15 goal league tally as Heracles Almelo were held to a 0-0 at ADO Den Haag.
…gets Nigerian passport, set for Super Eagles debut
Heracles Almelo of Holland forward Cyriel Dessers has obtained a Nigerian passport paving the way for his invitation to the Super Eagles for next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations double-header against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone.
Dessers according to a report in fcupdate.nl was issued the passport on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old was born in Leuven to a Belgian father and Nigerian mother.
He is now expected to be named in Nigeria’s squad for the games against Sierra Leone after pledging his allegiance to the three-time African champions.
Dessers is currently the top scorer in the Dutch Eredivisie with 15 goals in 24 appearances.
The Super Eagles top Group L after winning their opening two games against Benin Republic and Lesotho.
…made up my mind 5yrs ago to play for Super Eagles
The leading scorer in the Dutch league Cyriel Dessers has revealed that five years ago he made up his mind he wanted to play for the Super Eagles and not Belgium, where his father is from.
This week, Dessers was issued his green Nigerian passport to move a step closer to making his Super Eagles debut against Sierra Leone next month.
Eagles coach Gernot Rohr was thrilled after he was informed Dessers now has his Nigerian passport.
The next step for the striker is to start banging goals in the green-white-green shirt of Nigeria to justify his call-up.
“He cannot wait to play for Nigeria so as to justify his invitation,” the source said.
“He is strong and fast centre-forward with good technique, who knows his way to goal and at the same time plays for the team.
“He will be a great addition to the Super Eagles.”
David Okereke and Emmanuel Denis (Genk vs Club Brugge): David Okereke bagged an assist in Club Brugge’s 2-1 away win against Genk.
Okereke, who took the place of Kreppin Diata in the 83rd minute provided the assist for Matt Rits’ winning goal six minutes later.
His international teammate, Emmanuel Dennis missed the game as a result of injury.
Anthony Nwakeme and Mikel Obi (Trabzonspor vs Rizespor): In Turkey, former Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi was sent off for the third time in his career during Saturday’s Super Lig clash between Trabzonspor and Rizespor.
The Black Sea Storm cruised to a 5-2 triumph but the Nigerian’s dismissal overshadowed Huseyin Cimsir’s team’s celebration.
Dario Melnjak had handed the visitors a 1-0 lead at half-time, however, Trabzonspor played the last 45 minutes like a house on fire with Manuel Da Costa, Caleb Ekuban, Jose Sosa and Anthony Nwakaeme all finding the net.
With victory already assured, Mikel was given his marching orders for a second caution for stopping Ogulcan Caglayan’s goal-bound shot with his arm.
Shehu Abdullahi turns from hero to zero for Bursaspor
Eagles defender Abdullahi Shehu turned from hero to zero as Bursaspor were held to a 1-1 draw by ümraniyespor at Umraniye Hekimbasi Sehir Stadyumu (Istanbul), yesterday.
Shehu gave Bursaspor a dream start by opening the scoring in the sixth minute but the opponents took a share of the spoils courtesy of Nouri’s equaliser on 70 minutes.
With eleven minutes remaining, the Super Eagles star was shown a straight card by referee Erkan Ozdamar.
The former Kano Pillars man has had disciplinary issues this season, picking up four yellow cards in total which led to him missing the matchday 23 fixture against BB Erzurumspor as a result of accumulated bookings.
Last weekend, Shehu reached a milestone when he went the distance against Altay SK – his 50th game in a Bursaspor shirt since joining the club from Anorthosis Famagusta in Cyprus.
He has now tallied three goals in the league – his best goal return in a single-season for a European club.
Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly vs Mamelodi Sundowns): Ajayi registered an assist as Al Ahly beat South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 in the first leg of their quarter-final fixture in the CAF Champions League, played at the Cairo International Stadium.
Ajayi set up Ali Malooul’s opening goal in the 53rd minute.
Danile Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates): Akpeyi was named man of the match following his impressive display in Kaizer Chiefs’ 1-0 away win against Orlando Pirates in the Soweto Derby.
Despite criticism over his performance in the 1-0 home defeat to Maritzburg United last weekend, Akpeyi kept his place in goal ahead of Bafana Bafana shot stopper Itumeleng Khune.
Lebogang Manyama netted the winning goal for Kaizer Chiefs on the half hour mark.
Akpeyi made his first significant save of the game in the 15th minute when he stopped Gabadinho Mhango’s close-range effort.
The former Warri Wolves goalie also denied Thembinkosi Lorch in the 27th minute.
The 31-year-old produced three stunning saves in the final quarter following close-range efforts from Lorch and Luvuyo Memela, with the third attempt from a distance flying wide.
He kept the Amakhosi in the game yet again after turning Ntsikelelo Nyauza’s side-footer behind for a corner three minutes from time.
Kaizer Chiefs stretched their lead to nine points at the top of the table following the win.