The 2021/2022 football season has started with Nigerian players across the globe showing their mettle and firing on all cylinders, Sportivation.com.ng reports.
After leaving Kano Pillars in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), Ahmed Musa made his debut for Fatih Karagumruk in their first league game against Gaziantep FK. Musa scored the third goal in the ‘death of the minute’ via an assist from Kerim Freikoyunlu to earn his side a 3-2 win in the Turkish League.
In the German Bundesliga, Taiwo Awoniyi opened the scoring for Union Berlin in the 7th minute in their home game against Bayer Leverkusen. Moussa Diaby restored parity five minutes after they conceded with an assist from Jeremie Frimpong. Awoniyi was subbed off for A.Voglsammer in the 64th minute and the tie ended one goal apiece.
22-year-old forward, Terem Moffi played alongside Armand Lauriente in Lorient’s attack. Moffi converted a penalty in 31 minutes to give Lorient a 1-0 win over Monaco in the French Ligue 1. He was later substituted for Adrian Grbic in the 85th minute.
In the first game of the English Premier League on Friday night, Frank Onyeka played a pivotal role in Brentford’s 2-0 win against Arsenal. Onyeka displayed a blistering performance in ‘the bees’ midfield, with 81% passing accuracy and made two successful tackles. Onyeka was substituted towards the ‘latter stages’ of the game as he was replaced by Mads Bidstrup in the 80th minute.
The trio of William Troost-Ekong, Oghenekaro Etebo and Emmanuel Dennis were also in action for Watford as they welcome Aston Villa in Vicarage Road. Ekong and Etebo tasted every minute of action, while Dennis scored on his Premier League debut and broke the deadlock in the 10th minute. Dennis also assisted Ismaila Sarr for Watford’s second goal three minutes before the end of the first half.
Dennis was replaced by Juan Hernandez in the 66 minutes. However, he was on the winning side alongside his fellow compatriots as the game ended 3-2 in favour of Watford. His impressive performance earned him the ‘man of the match and he also joined the ‘legion of Nigerian players’ to score on their Premier League debut after John Utaka, Peter Odemwingie and Odion Ighalo.
Having won the Community Shield for Leicester City last weekend, the duo of Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho made Brendan Rodger’s team against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Ndidi had 90 minutes under his belt shielding the Foxes’ defence, while Iheanacho came on for Harvey Barnes in the 72 minutes to bolster the attack. Jamie Vardy’s goal in the 41 minutes ensured Leceister City claimed all three points at the King Power Stadium.
Former Arsenal player, Alex Iwobi was also called upon by new gaffer Rafael Benitez when he came on for Andros Townsend in the 70th minute. Upon his introduction, he assisted Abdoulaye Doucoure for Everton’s second goal in the 76th minute. Iwobi’s contribution was crucial to Everton’s 3-1 win over Southampton at Goodison Park.
Prolific goalscorer, Paul Onuachu continued from where he left off, having won the highest goalscorer and best player in the Belgian Jupiler League last season. Onuachu featured for Genk in their home game against Oud-HeverleeLeuven. Onuachu doubled his side’s lead as he scored Genk’s second goal one minute before the hour mark. Genk ended the game by putting four unreplied goals past their opponent.
Skilful winger, Moses Simon was on the pitch of play for Nantes in their tie with Metz. His tricky movement and technical abilities yielded two assists. He set up Randal Kolo Muani to score Nantes’ first goal in the 12th minute and provided another assist for Ludovic Blas in the 49th minutes to give his side a comfortable 2-0 win over Metz.
Maduka Okoye was in between the sticks for Sparta Rotterdam in their away game against FC Utrecht in Eredivisie. It was a ‘bad day in the office’ for the 21-year-old shot-stopper as he conceded four, hence they lost 4-0.
Far away in Russia, Chidera Ejuke was in action for CSKA Moscow as they slugged it out with FC Rostov. Ejuke’s input was one of the decisive factors as he assisted Fedor Chalov for CSKA second goal in the 36th minute. He was subbed off for Emil Bohinen one minute after the hour mark. Ejuke’s side got the maximum three points as they won 3-1 away from home.