After the poor result during the World Cup qualifiers last week, some Nigerian players returned to their respective clubs to continue from where they stopped.
Kelechi Iheanacho, who had a poor outing in Kumasi and failed to make the team in Abuja, appeased Leicester City fans with his goal. Also, the duo, Taiwo Awoniyi and Paul Onuachu, who were not called up for the national assignment scored the goals that took all three points for their European teams.
However, some didn’t feature for their clubs for reasons best known to their managers.
Kelechi Iheanacho and Ademola Lookman (Leicester City, England)
After a bad outing during the international break, Iheanacho had a moment to redeem himself with a goal scored for his team at the weekend.
Kelechi Iheanacho helped his club, Leicester City, to a point at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The “Senior man Kels” as fondly called by fans was on target for his club in the 63rd minute with a diving header from a James Maddison cross. Iheanacho’s effort was eventually salvaged to a 1-1 draw after Fred pulled an equaliser three minutes later.
But for VAR, Iheanacho could have added an assist to his name, but Maddison’s goal did not stand because VAR adjudged Iheanacho to have fouled Manchester United defender Raphael Varane in the buildup to the goal.
Aside from the goal, Kelechi was also voted as the Man of the Match for the encounter.
The Nigerian man has scored three goals and assisted five times in his 20 league appearances for the Foxes this season.
However, his compatriot Ademola Lookman saw the game on the bench.
Emmanuel Dennis, Oghenekaro Etebo, Samuel Kalu and Troost Ekong (Watford)
Dennis marked his return to the EPL with a 12-minute cameo that could not salvage a 2-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.
He came on for Cucho Hernandez in the 78th minute and made only five touches in the game.
Rod Hodgson’s side has been dangling at the bottom of the table for some time now, and Dennis hasn’t been able to solve the attacking problems of the club.
The Nigerian striker has scored nine goals and assisted five times in his 28th appearance this season.
The last time Dennis scored was in February during a lone victory over Aston Villa.
Dennis was the only Nigerian that took part in the weekend clash, as the trio of Etebo, Samuel Kalu, and William Troost Ekong didn’t follow the team to Anfield.
Alex Iwobi (Everton)
Iwobi was in action for 90 minutes during Everton’s 2-1 loss to Westham at the London Stadium.
Iwobi, who wasn’t called during the world cup qualifiers for Nigeria because of the red card he got during AFCON, couldn’t replicate his last EPL experience for his side during the encounter.
The midfielder made four key passes during his 90 minutes of play.
Frank Onyeka (Brentford)
Onyeka didn’t take part during Brentford’s 4-1 victory over Chelsea.
The Nigerian last featured for the London side early last month as a substitute for Christian Nørgaard in the 59th minute during Brentford’s 3-1 victory over Norwich.
The 24-year-old has played 20 times for the Londoners of which he started 12 games.
Semi Ajayi (West Brom)
Ajayi had a bad outing with his Championship club, West Brom after a lone goal loss to Birmingham city.
Ajayi was featured throughout the encounter with defensive credits of two clearances and interceptions and four tackles.
Paul Onuachu (Genk)
Onuachu shone in KRC Genk 5-0 thrashing of KAS Eupen. Onuachu was the man of the moment as he scored a hat-trick on Sunday evening.
After firing blanks in his last two games, Onuachu complemented it with three goals. The forward scored his first two goals in the first half before he added the third in the 79th minute.
The last time he scored a hat-trick was last year August against RFC Seraing in the Belgian Pro-league matchday nine.
The 27-year-old right-footed striker has attracted big clubs in the top Leagues after recording 19 goals in 28 games played this season.
Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun, and Calvin Bassey (Rangers)
The trio of Balogun, Aribo, and Bassey, who played for Nigeria during the Qatar 2022 qualifier replicated the same in Rangers’ 2-1 home derby defeat to Celtic.
Aribo couldn’t show much of his attacking prowess in the game as he made just one shot on target and a successful dribble during his 90-minute spell.
Aribo’s countrymen, Balogun and Calvin Bassey in the defensive area made an average of two clearances and five tackles during the game.
La Liga [Spain]
Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal)
Samuel Chukwueze didn’t travel with his club Villarreal, as the Yellow Submarine suffered a two-nil defeat to Levante.
The 22-year-old last featured in his club’s narrow one-nil defeat to Cadiz before the international break. The winger has scored two goals in 19 appearances.
Sadiq Umar (Almeria)
Sadiq Umar featured in his club’s hard-fought 1-1 draw against Huesca.
Umar, who has been impressive with goals and assists for his club, fired blanks during the encounter. He managed one shot on target during his 88 minutes of play.
The 25-year-old has scored 15 and assisted seven times in his 28 games played this season.
Serie A [Italy]
Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Osimhen was not in Luciano Spalletti’s squad that visited Atalanta, in a 3-1 victory, on Sunday.
Osimhen, who fired blanks during the international break for the Super Eagles, did not get back on time to be a part of the Napoli squad, who are chasing the league title with AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Osimhen has scored 11 goals in his 20 appearances for the Blues.
Ola Aina and Joel Obi (Torino and Salernitana)
Nigeria defender Ola Aina saw the game on the bench as Torino defeated Salernitana by a goal.
The last time Aina featured for his club was last December against Inter, where his club suffered a one-nil defeat to the Nerazzurri.
Meanwhile, forgotten Super Eagles midfielder Joel Obi also saw the game on the bench throughout the encounter.
Ligue 1 [France]
Moses Simon (Nantes)
Super Eagles winger Moses Simon saw the game between Nantes and Clement Foot on the bench.
Nantes won 3-2 in a tight contest. The 26-year-old has scored three goals and made seven assists so far this season.
Terem Moffi (FC Lorient)
Nigerian striker, Terem Moffi, was on target for his club despite their 5-1 heavy defeat to PSG on Sunday night.
The 22-year-old scored his fifth goal of the season in the 56th minute.
Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin)
Nigerian forward Taiwo Awoniyi scored the only goal of the encounter when his club Union Berlin defeated FC Köln by a lone goal at home.
He scored in the 49th minute to seal a victory during a performance that lasted 88 minutes as his club jumped to the seventh position with 41 points.
Awoniyi has been impressive in his last five outings, scoring three goals.
Meanwhile, Awoniyi has now scored 12 goals in 25 appearances, the first time he will ever score such a figure in a season and also the club’s all-time goalscorer with 17 goals.
Jamilu Collins (Paderborn)
Super Eagles defender Jamilu Collins was involved in his club Paderborn’s narrow 2-1 away victory over Hamburger at the weekend.
Collins assisted Dennis Srbeny in the first minute of the game to create an early lead for his side. Aside from the assist, the 27-year-old also made tremendous efforts to prevent goals from being scored.
The defender made three tackles and interceptions with two clearances. He has scored once and assisted thrice in his 19 appearances this season.
Cyriel Dessers, Maduka Okoye (Feyenoord and Sparta Rotterdam)
Maduka Okoye conceded for the first time after a month behind the sticks as his club Sparta Rotterdam played a 1-1 draw against SC Heerenveen.
Okoye, who made the Eredivisie team of the month for his heroic performances in March, could not continue such a feat in April.
Despite conceding a goal, Okoye made two saves during the game. Meanwhile, Cyriel Dessers didn’t feature in Feyenoord two nil victory over Willem II Tilburg.
Super Lig [Turkey]
Kayode Olarenwaju, Ahmed Musa and Anthony Nwakaeme (Sivasspor, Fatih Karagumruk, and Trabzonspor)
Forgotten Super Eagles striker Kayode Olarenwaju was on target for his Turkish club, Sivasspor, in a 2-2 away draw to Giresunspor.
The 28-year-old scored in the 39th minute but had to be substituted after 45 minutes of action.
In his 29 appearances for his club, Kayode has made seven goal contributions this season.
However, Super Eagles skipper, Ahmed Musa, was on the bench throughout Fatih Karagumruk’s two-nil loss to Galatasaray.
The Nigerian forward had limited playing time with the Super Eagles in the Qatar 2022 defeat to Ghana and is also finding it hard to break into Fatih Karagumruk’s starting lineup in Turkey.
The 29-year-old has scored and assisted twice in 24 appearances so far this season.
Anthony Nwakaeme couldn’t do much within 45 minutes he was afforded in the 1-1 draw against Besiktas. Nwakaeme has registered 11 goals and 10 assists so far this season.
TFF 1. LIG
Ibrahim Olawoyin, Anthony Uzodinma and Emeka Eze (Ankara Keciorengucu)
Turkey’s second division side Ankara Keciorengucu recorded a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Bursaspor all thanks to the trio of Nigerian stars Emeka Eze, Ibrahim Olawoyin, and Anthony Uzodinma in the club.
Anthony Uzodinma scored a brace in the 34th and 71st minutes with the help of duo Emeka Eze and Ibrahim Olawoyin, respectively.
The 22-year-old has recorded three goals in his nine appearances for his side.
Olawoyin, the former Rangers talisman has made 12 goal contributions this season. His fellow countryman Emeka Eze has netted 10 times for the Turkish club.
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