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Nigerian Players Scorecard: Ajayi, Awoniyi On Target



Hope Ejairu

Nigerian players have always shown that they are up to the task whenever they are called upon to dawn the shirt of their respective club side and this past weekend was not an exception, reports.

Semi Ajayi scored at the death of the minute for West Bromwich Albion via an assist from Matthew Phillips against Peterborough United in the English Championship to clinch all three points for his side in a 1-0 victory on the road. Ajayi’s defensive prowess, coupled with his goal earned him the match of the man award.

Man of the moment, Taiwo Awoniyi linked up with Max Kruse to double Union Berlin’s lead with an excellent finish against Borussia Moenchengladbach in the German Bundesliga. Jonas Hofmann reduced the deficit for the visitors, as the tie ended 2-1 in favour of Union Berlin. The former Liverpool striker made way for Kevin Behrens in the 73rd minute. Awoniyi has now registered three goals in three consecutive games for the German outfit.

Former Arsenal player, Alex Iwobi came on for Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the 70th minute in Everton’s tie against Brighton & Hove Albion. Iwobi helped Rafael Benitez’s side to maintain the lead by mounting pressure on the Seagulls defence. The Toffees were runaway winners in a 2-0 comfortable win at the American Express Stadium.

The duo of Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho featured for Leicester City in their away encounter at the Carrow Road. Ndidi was on the pitch of play for 90 minutes while Iheanacho replaced Harvey Barnes in the 67 minute. Topnotch tackles from Ndidi in the Foxes’ heart of defence and Iheanacho’s partnership upfront with Jamie Vardy was pivotal to Leicester City’s 2-1 away win from home.

The trio of William Troost-Ekong, Oghenekaro Etebo and Emmanuel Dennis were in action for Watford against Nuno Espirito Santos’ side. Dennis’ brilliant runs posed a threat on several occasions but could not find the back of the net. However, Ekong and Etebo were also dogged in their respective position but Heung-Min Son’s goal in the 42nd minute ensured they suffered a 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur.

22-year-old striker, Terem Moffi had 90 minutes under his belt as Lorient slugged it out against Lens in the French Ligue 1. Moffi was outstanding as he set-up Thomas Monconduit for Lorient’s second goal. The four goals thriller saw the game end in a 2-2 draw.

In a duly contested match in the Scottish League, the duo of Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo started for Rangers in their game against Celtic at the Ibrox Stadium. The duo were superb in their assignment and a goal from Filip Helander, who was assisted by Borna Barisic ensured they were on the winning side.

Samuel Kalu was subbed on for Issouf Sissokho in the 46 minutes in Bordeaux’s away game against Nice. Kalu’s introduction saw him show a glimpse of brilliance but was not enough to salvage a point for his side as they lost 4-0.

It was a bad day in the office for shot-stopper, Maduka Okoye who let two goals in for Sparta Rotterdam as they were edged by 2-0 against Go Ahead Eagles in the Eredivisie.

Former Kano Pillars player, Ahmed Musa was called upon in Fatih Karagumruk’s away clash at Besiktas. Musa’s pace and power was was a nightmare for ‘the Black Eagles’ defenders though they were able to restrict him from scoring. He was replaced by Emre More in the 71st minute and the game ended 1-0 with Besiktas coming out victorious.

Paul Onuachu was also available for Genk against Anderlecht in the Belgium Jupiler League. Onuachu unsettled Anderlecht defence whenever he was given the ball but failed to register a goal. He was substituted for Ike Ugbo in the 82nd minute, who scored the only goal of the game in the 87th minute.

Simy Nwankwo came on for Lassana Coulibaly four minutes before the hour mark. However, his presence was not enough to muster a point for his side, Salernitana as they were thrashed 4-0.

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