Goals rain for Nigerians in Europe


It was goals galore for a host of Nigerian footballers as action continued in various European leagues over the weekend. EBENEZER BAJELA takes a look at the performances of some 9f the country’s top footballers for their various sides.


Premier League

Aribo, Edozie (Southampton)

Joe Aribo and English player of Nigerian descent Samuel Edozie were in action on Sunday as Southampton played a 1-1 draw with West Ham United at the St. Mary’s Stadium.

Aribo had a decent performance during his 74 minutes spell on the pitch before he was replaced by Edozie.

The 19-year-old, who was born in England to a Nigerian father and an English mother, made an instant impact but was unable to guide the Saints to the much-needed win.

Alex Iwobi (Everton)

In-form Iwobi was in action for the entire 90 minutes as the Toffees suffered a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday.

Iwobi was unlucky not to have an assist registered in his name after a fine pass to Demarai Gray, who failed to finish off the chance.

Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City)

With just five minutes to the end of the game against Crystal Palace on Saturday, Brendan Rodgers sent in Iheanacho for Harvey Barnes as the Foxes searched for their second win of the 2022/23 season.

The forward however had little or no impact as the game ended goalless in front of the 31,298 spectators at the King Power Stadium.

Awoniyi, Dennis (Nottingham Forest)

It was another disappointing outing at the Molineux Stadium for Nigerian duo Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis, whose side suffered a 1-0 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

Dennis started the game from kick-off and was in action for 70 minutes, before being replaced by Jesse Lingard. Despite some flashes of brilliance, the former Watford man was unable to break the hosts’ defence and was booked by referee Thomas Bramall.

Meanwhile, it was the same story for his compatriot Awoniyi, who was thrown into the fray with just six minutes of action left.

The former Liverpool forward came on for Remo Freuler but couldn’t do anything to salvage a result for the newly promoted side.

Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth)

Solanke put up an impressive display as Bournemouth played a 2-2 draw with Fulham at Craven Cottage in the English Premier League on Saturday.

The English player of Nigerian descent scored the opening goal of the encounter just two minutes into the game before assisting Jefferson Lerma in the 29th minute to put Bournemouth ahead again after the home side had drawn level through Issa Diop in the 22nd minute.


Troost-Ekong, Okoye, Kalu (Watford)

Super Eagles assistant captain William Troost-Ekong was in action as Watford continued their fight to return to the English Premier League.

The defender put up an impressive display as the Hornets defeated Norwich City 2-1 at Vicarage Road.

The 29-year-old played the entire 90 minutes as Slaven Bilic’s men held on to their slender lead to claim the three precious points.

But Maduka Okoye continued to warm the bench, while Samuel Kalu was brought on with just a minute to the end of the game. The winger replaced Ismaila Sarr and was in action for the additional minutes of the encounter.

Marvin Ekpiteta (Blackpool)

Blackpool’s Ekpiteta was red carded in a thrilling 3-3 stalemate against Sheffield United. The player of Nigerian descent was given the marching orders in the 78th minute, after receiving his second yellow card of the game, having been booked earlier in the 55th minute.

Elijah Adebayo (Luton Town)

Adebayo was on target for Luton Town on Saturday as they defeated Queens Parks Rangers 3-1 at Kenilworth Road.

The forward of Nigerian descent opened the scoring with just 18 minutes on the clock as the home side strolled to a comfortable win.

League 2

Josh Umerah (Hartlepool)

Also on target over the weekend was little-known Hartlepool United forward Josh Umerah.
The 25-year-old former Charlton Athletic player scored in the 85th minute for the visitors but it was not enough as they lost 2-1 to Harrogate.

Serie A

Ola Aina (Torino)
Aina was in action for 78 minutes for Torino in the Turin derby against Juventus as the hosts fell to a Dusan Vlahovic’s 74th-minute goal at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.

Aina played as a wingback and was impressive in the encounter, before being replaced by Wilfried Stephane Singo, as the hosts went in search of an equaliser.

Victor Osimhen (Napoli)

Despite scoring on his return from injury against Ajax in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, Osimhen returned to the bench on Sunday as Napoli claimed a 3-2 victory at home to Bologna at the Diego Armando Maradona.

The forward, who has been out of action since September, was not considered fit to start against the visitors and was brought on for Giacomo Raspadori in the 46th minute.

The former Lille striker made his presence felt as he scored the winner in the 63rd minute, off a
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia pass, as Napoli triumphed 3-2.

Ademola Lookman (Atalanta)

It was another wonderful day for Lookman in the office as the Nigerian grabbed the winner for Atalanta just a minute to the restart of the game against Sassuolo at the Gewiss Stadium in the Italian Serie A.

The winger grabbed his fourth goal of the season and third in a row, since joining the Italian club from Leipzig last summer.

The Nigerian didn’t put in any wrong footing during his 68 minutes of action before he was replaced with Jeremie Boga.

Cyriel Dessers (Cremonese)

Dessers was among the goals as Cremonese put up a great fight to snatch a 2-2 Serie A draw against Spezia on Sunday.

The Nigerian needed two minutes to put the visiting side ahead before Angola international M’Bala Nzola levelled matters for Spezia in the 19th minute at Alberto Picco.


Ligue 1

Terem Moffi (Lorient)

It was a sad moment for Moffi at the Stade du Moustoir on Saturday as he was only in action for Lorient for just 25 minutes before picking up an injury, which eventually had him replaced with Ibrahima Kone.

Moses Simon (Nantes)
Following a disappointing outing on Thursday in the Europa League, Simon was back to his best as he guided Nantes to a 4-1 win over Brest in the Ligue 1 on Sunday.

The 27-year-old converted from the spot in the 35th minute to draw level, having fallen behind to a Noah Fadiga 18th-minute goal.

The Nigerian was a menace to the opposition defenders as he was heavily involved for the hosts, who scored three more goals to return to winning ways.

First Division A

Chinonso Offor (Zulte Waregem)

Offor helped his Belgian club to a 3-1 win away from home against Kortrijk in the First Division A in Belgium.

The Nigerian scored his side’s second goal of the game in the 65th minute to put them ahead for the first time in the game.


Onyekuru, David (Adana)

Nigerian duo Henry Onyekuru and Babajide David were on target as Adana Demirspor secured a comfortable 4-1 win away from home against Kasimpasa in the Turkish league.

David put the visitors in a commanding position with just five minutes to the end of the first 45 minutes, following a fine assist from Younes Belhanda, who had given the visitors the lead in the 37th minute.

In the 63rd minute, Belhanda assisted Onyekuru for the third goal of the game. Prior to his goal, the winger was shown a yellow card in additional time of first half.


Fred Friday (Stroemsgodset)

Port-Harcourt-born Friday was cautioned in Stroemsgodset’s 2-0 defeat to Rosenborg in the Norwegian league on Saturday.

The 27-year-old has found the back of the net on five occasions this season, but fired blanks in their defeat away from home.


Bobby Adekanye (Go Ahead Eagles)

Adekanye was in action for the Dutch club before he was replaced by Finn Stokkers, but it was an underwhelming performance for the 23-year-old Ibadan-born striker. The player failed to add to his one-goal tally and he was shown a yellow card by referee Dennis Higler.


Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico)

Super Falcons forward, Rasheedat Ajibade, was in sensational form for Atletico Madrid scoring four goals for her side, who returned to winning ways with a 5-0 mauling of Huelva in a Spanish Primera División de la Liga de Fútbol Femenino fixture on Saturday.

Ajibade scored in the 28th minute to put Atletico ahead going into the break.

In the second half, the Nigerian scored her second of the game after she finished off a pass from Sheila Garcia in the 51st minute.

The former FC Robo star completed her hat trick in the 88th minute and added her fourth in additional time.