Oshoala hits third hat-trick in Barca win


It was another great weekend for Nigerian duo Asisat Oshoala and Victor Osimhen in Europe, while Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheancho also returns to winning ways with their various clubs. ANTHONY NLEBEM takes a look at how Nigeria players performed for their various clubs over the weekend


Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona Fermini)

In-form Super Falcons star Oshoala continues her brilliant goals scoring as she scored another hat-trick as Barcelona Fermini thrashed Real Betis women 7-0 in the Spanish Women’s Primera Division match on Sunday.

Oshoala came in the 59th minute for Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic and hit the back of the net in the 61st, 71st and completed the hat-trick in the 90th.

The 28-year-old Nigerian striker has climbed to the top of the goalscorer chart with 17 goals, overtaking Levante’s Alba Redondo (16) and Real Madrid’s Esther González (15).

Oshoala also scored a hat-trick in FC Barcelona Feminí 7-0 demolition of Levante Las Planas in the Spanish Femení Primera División Match on January 26.

Barcelona have now extended their unbeaten run in the league this season to 18 games and sit comfortably at the top of Spanish Femení Primera División with 54 points, eight points clear of second-placed Real Madrid Women.

Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid Women)

Super Falcons striker Ajibade was an unused substitute in Atletico Madrid Women’s 3-1 win over Sporting Club de Huelva Women in the Spanish Women’s Primera Division matchday 18 on Sunday.

Toni Payne (Sevilla)

American-born player of Nigerian descent was in action for Sevilla Women in their 1-0 home win against Villarreal Women in the Spanish Women’s Primera Division matchday 18 on Sunday.

The 27-year-old striker was in action for the entire duration of the game.


Victor Osimhen (Napoli)

Nigeria’s sensational striker Victor Osimhen scored a brace as Napoli dispatched Spezia 3-0 in a spectacular and entertaining Serie A fixture on Sunday at the Stadio Alberto Picco.

The 24-year-old scored in the 68th minute and added the second goal five minutes later after Kvicha Kvaratskhelia gave the Partenopei the lead in the 47th minute.

The Nigerian becomes only the fourth Napoli player to score 16 goals in the first 21 Serie A games of the season, following in the footsteps of Luis Vinicio in 1955-56, Edinson Cavani in 2012-13 and Gonzalo Higuain in 2015/16.

The win further cemented Napoli’s title chase with 56 points from 21 matches and look set to win their first scudetto since the 1989/90 season.

Success, Ehizibue (Udinese)

Nigerian duo Isaac Success and Kingsley Ehizibue were on the starting eleven for Udinese in their 1-0 away defeat to Torino on Sunday at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.

Ola Aina (Torino)

Nigerian defender Aina made his 12 league appearances for Torino in their 1-0 home win against Udinese on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Nigeria International who recently returned from an injury was on the starting eleven and was impressive from the right flank and contributed to Torino’s first goal when he gave a brilliant pass to Yann Karamoh who slotted the ball inside the net in the 50th minute to give the home side lead. Aina picked a yellow card four minutes before regulation time.

Dessers, Okereke (Cremonese)

Nigerian striker Cyriel Dessers played for 90 minutes as Cremonese lost 2-0 at home against Lecce at the Stadio Giovanni Zini on Saturday in a SerieA fixture.

Dessers who had a superb outing against Roma could not replicate the form.

Meanwhile, fellow countryman, David Okereke and the leading scorer with five goals for the Violins was an unused substitute.

Tyronne Ebuehi (Empoli)

Nigerian defender Ebuehi was in action for the Blues as Paolo Zanetti’s men suffered a 2-0 defeat to Jose Mourinho’s Roma side in a Serie A fixture at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday. The 27-year-old Nigeria international was impressive in the right-back position and came off for Petar Stojanovic in the 82nd minute.

Ademola Lookman (Atalanta)

Nigeria international Lookman was on the starting line-up but failed to find the back of the net as Atalanta fell 1-0 to Sassuolo at the Stadio Mapei – Città del Tricolore in a Serie A fixture on Saturday.

The 25-year-old Nigerian striker had 46 minutes of action before coming off for Jeremie Boga in the second half.

The Nigeria international has been brilliant for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side and has scored 12 goals in 20 league appearances this season.


Folarin Balogun (Reims)

Arsenal loanee Balogun was in action for 90 minutes for Reims in their French Ligue 1 match against Auxerre at the Stade de l’Abbe-Deschamps on Sunday.

The English-born striker of Nigerian descent was not lucky to register a goal for the Red and Whites as the game ended in a goalless draw.

The 21-year-old forward top the French Lique1 scores chart with 14 goals in 21 Lique1 appearances.

Moses Simon (Nantes)

Nigeria international Simon was not listed in Nantes squad that travelled to Stade Francois Coty in their French Lique 1 match against AC Ajaccio on Sunday.

The Canaries returned home with a 2-0 win securing a maximum of three points away from home.

The former Levante forward has featured in 19 Ligue 1 matches and has five goals and two assists for the Canaries this season.

Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC Women)

Super Falcons goalkeeper Nnadozie was in the starting squad for Paris FC Women in their 2-0 win over Dijon FCO Women in the French Division 1 Féminine match played on Saturday.

The 22-year-old keeper had an outstanding performance and some brilliant saves to deny the Dijon FCO Women any goal chance.


Calvin Bassey (Ajax)

Nigeria defender Bassey was an unused substitute as the Dutch Champions Ajax comfortably trashed Cambuur 5-0 at the Cambuur Stadion in a Sunday fixture to secure a back-to-back win in the Dutch Eredivisie league since the arrival of new manager John Heitinga at the Johan Cruyff Arena two weeks back.

The 23-year-old has been criticised for poor form since he made a summer move from Rangers and has featured in 17 league appearances with one goal to his name.


Kelechi, Ndidi (Leicester City)

Nigeria international Kelechi Iheanacho posted a man-of-the-match display scoring a goal and making two assists for Leicester City, who secured their first Premier League win since November 2022 in a six-goal thriller at Villa Park on Saturday.

The Nigerian forward ended a run of over 273 minutes without scoring in the Premier League since September 4, 2022, with a thumping header.

Iheanacho also assisted Tete who rounded Emiliano Martinez to put Leicester 3-2 ahead at the break. Fellow countryman Wilfred Ndidi was not on the match squad.

Alex Iwobi (Everton)

Nigerian midfielder Iwobi was in action for the entire duration as Everton beat Premier League leaders Arsenal 1-0 at Goodison Park.

The Toffees recorded their first league win in 11 matches with new manager Sean Dyche.

Dyche was appointed last Monday following the departure of Frank Lampard, who was sacked with the team in the relegation zone.

Iwobi, a key member of Lampard, retained his starting role under Dyche and helped the Toffees pick their first victory.

Onuachu, Edozie, Aribo (Southampton)

Onuachu made his debut for Southampton coming on as a second-half substitute against Brentford at the GteSamuel Edoziech Stadium.

The deadline day transfer signing could not make any impact as the Saints lost 3-0 to continue their poor run with eight losses in their last nine matches.

Samuel Edozie, a 20-year-old British footballer of Nigerian descent, was also in action and played for 65 minutes before coming off for Theo Walcot.

Joe Aribo was an unused substitute as the Nigerian Midfielder was on the bench for the entire duration of the match.

Frank Onyeka (Brentford)

Injured Frank Onyeka was not on the e squad in Brentford’s 3-0 bashing of Southampton as the Nigerian striker is yet to recover from his thigh injury.

Chuba Akpom (Middlesbrough)

Akpom added two more to his tally as Middlesbrough comfortably saw off struggling Blackpool. The Championship’s top scorer scored one in each half to take his league tally to 16 and Paddy McNair added another as Boro stayed third in the table after a comfortable 3-0 win. Michael Carrick’s men are now 10 points behind second-placed Sheffield United thanks to a ninth win in 11 games.

Kalu, Ademeyo (Watford)

Injured Nigerian winger Samuel Kalu was not in action, while British -born strike of Nigerian descent Tobi Ademeyo was a second-half substitute for Matheus Martins in the 61st in Watford 2-2 draw against Reading in a minute Championship match at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

Femi Azeez (Reading)

British-born striker eligible to play for Nigeria Azeez was in action for his Championship side Reading as they came from two goals behind to draw Watford 2-2 at home on Saturday.

The 21-year-old came on for Junior Hoilett in the 67th minute.


Peter Olayinka (Slavia Prague)

Super Eagles striker Olayinka was in the starting role and inspired Slavia Prague to a convincing 2-0 victory over Pardubice in the Czech top-flight league match on Saturday at the Dolicek Stadion.

The 27-year-old Nigerian star scored Slavia Prague’s second goal in the 90th minute to take his goals tally to six in 12 league appearances for the Slavists in the Fortuna Liga 22022/23 season.


Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal)

Nigerian winger Chukwueze was in the starting lineup as Villarreal suffered a shock 3-1 defeat to struggling Elche on Saturday at the Estadio Martinez Valero.

The 23-year-old who has struggled to find form this season played almost the entire duration of the match but came off for Diego Collado in the 90th as the Yellow Submarine were stunned on the night. The Nigeria international has only managed to score one goal in 19 league matches this season.

Saudi Arabia

Odion Ighalo (Al Hilal)

Ighalo played for 84 minutes for Al Hilal who edged Wydad Casablanca 5-3 in a penalty shootout on Saturday in their Club World Cup clash in Morocco. The Saudi Arabian side secured a semi-final berth against Flamengo of Brazil.

The Nigerian international scored his second goal of the year to help the lowly Serie A outfit dump AS Roma out of the prestigious cup competition.