Two Nigerian players who had enjoyed fringe roles with their English clubs were in the thick of the action on Saturday in the Emirates FA Cup third round.
While Tom Dele-Bashiru seized the moment, scoring a goal in his first start for Watford, in their home tie against Tranmere Rovers, Leon Balogun played just the first half of Brighton’s home loss against Sheffield Wednesday.
Dele-Bashiru, a member of the Nigeria U23 team, opened the scoring for Watford after just 12 minutes with a rocket of a shot. Unfortunately, the Hornets blew away their three-goal lead and were eventually held to a 3-3 draw by Tranmere Rovers.
Aside from Dele-Bashiru, another Nigerian, Isaac Success, was in action but could not help Watford get a win as they would now face Rovers in a replay of the Emirates FA Cup third-round tie.
For Balogun, there is no chance of a replay as they lost 1-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday.
Another Premier League club, Aston Villa, were also dumped out of the FA Cup following their loss to Fulham.
However, Manchester City, Bournemouth, and Leicester City all progressed to the fourth round of the competition, while Manchester United and Wolverhampton slogged through a scoreless draw that will require a replay at Old Trafford to decide.
Manchester City survived a slight scare to top Port Vale 4-1 while elsewhere, Leicester City benefitted from a weird early own-goal to take the lead against Wigan Athletic before adding one more to secure a 2-0 win.
A second-string Reading side had to settle for a 2-2 draw with League One Blackpool at the Madejski.
In an all-League One matchup, Portsmouth got a pair of goals from James Bolton and Marcus Myers-Harness in a five-minute span to down Fleetwood Town 2-1 on the road.
Also, Bournemouth cruised to a morale-boosting 4-0 win over Luton with two goals from Philip Billing, one from Callum Wilson and one from Dominic Solanke.
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