Nigerian players progress in Europa League

Victor Moses. [Photo: mtnfootball.com]

Three English teams progressed to the last eight.

Nigerian players on parade for their respective clubs on Thursday night breezed into the quarter finals of the Europa League as the country’s ambassadors gun for the second-tier Euro trophy.

In London, European champions, Chelsea, with the duo of John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses, booked a place in the Europa League quarter finals with a 3-1 win over Steaua Bucharest.

Goals from Juan Mata, John Terry and Fernando Torres, who also missed a penalty, put the west London club through 3-2 on aggregate after Steaua levelled on the stroke of halftime at Stamford Bridge.

Also Shola Ameobi and his Newcastle teammates survived the onslaught from Russian big spender, Anzhi Machchakala, as the Maggpies secured a vital one goal win to book their place amongst the last eight.

Another Nigerian whose team has also qualified for the next stage is Ogenyi Onazi who plays for SS Lazio.

Lazio qualified beating their opponents VSB 3-1 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate having won the first leg in January

Tottenham Hotspurs survived a thrilling Inter Milan fightback to progress on away goals on Thursday.

Emmanuel Adebayor pounced in extra time to score a vital away goal as Spurs were thrashed 4-1 in their second leg at the San Siro; but went through against three-time European champions, Inter, after the nail-biting tie ended 4-4 on aggregate.

Former UEFA Cup winners, Zenit St Petersburg, went out to Basel 2-1 on aggregate despite a 1-0 win on the night after they had a late penalty saved against the Swiss team, who played the second half with 10 men.

Fellow Russians, Rubin Kazan, fared better as they saw off Levante 2-0 in extra time to end Spanish interest in this season’s competition.

Yobo’s Fenerbahce, and Benfica also progressed on Thursday.

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