Forgotten man Olanrewaju scores in Turkey


•Boniface bags league brace
•Balogun fires blanks in second game
• Nnadozie keeps clean sheet

It was a weekend of below average performances by Nigerian stars in Europe as several front men failed to score for their clubs — aside from the in-form Victor Osimhen — who scored his 19th goal of the season in Napoli’s 2-0 win over Empoli. ANTHONY NLEBEM writes on how the country’s top stars fared in Europe over the weekend


William Troost-Ekong (Salernitana)

Defender Troost-Ekong was not in Salernitana’s squad in the 3-0 home win to Stadio Arechi in a Serie A on Sunday at the Stadio Arechi. The 29-year-old suffered a thigh injury and is expected to be out for two weeks. The win moved the Garnets to 16th position, away from the relegation zone

Victor Osimhen (Napoli)

Osimhen scored his 19th league goal of the season in Napoli’s 2-0 win over Empoli at the Stadio Carlo Castellani on Saturday.

The Nigeria international hit his 10th Serie A goal since the turn of the year as leaders Napoli stretched their advantage to 18 points with the away victory.

The 24-year-old has scored in his last eight domestic league games, with his efforts bringing a long-awaited Scudetto ever closer. On an individual side, he is in contention to win his first top scorer award as his 19 goals in the league sets him atop the scoring charts in the Italian topflight.

Osimhen has now scored a total of 21 goals in all competitions for the Naples-based side in the 2022/23 season.

Tyronne Ebuehi (Empol)

Super Eagles defender Ebuehi started for Empoli in their 2-0 home loss to leaders Napoli. The 27-year-old featured for 68 minutes for the hosts and has so far managed 15 Serie A matches and registered one goal as Empoli moved two places down to 12th position on the table.


Moses Simon (Nantes)

Simon was a second-half substitute as Nantes lost 1-0 to visiting Rennes at the Stade de la Beaujoire in their French Ligue 1 match on Sunday. The former Levante forward was introduced in the 68th minute but could NOT help salvage a point for the Green and Yellows. The 27-year-old winger has featured in 21 Ligue 1 matches and has five goals and two assists for the Canaries this season.

Folarin Balogun (Reims)

Balogun was not on the scorers’ chart as Reims dispatched Toulouse 3-0 in a Lique match played on Sunday at the Stade Auguste Delaune. The Arsenal loanee was on the starting line-up but could not hit target and came off in the 87th minute.

The 21-year-old has enjoyed a brilliant run and has scored 15 goals in 23 appearances, but has failed to score in two league matches.

Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC Women)

Super Falcons goalkeeper Nnadozie was in the starting squad and had a clean sheet for Paris FC Women in their 3-0 win over Reims Women in the French Division 1 Féminine match played on Saturday.

The 22-year-old keeper had an outstanding performance and made some brilliant saves to deny the home side.


Alex Iwobi (Everton)

Iwobi was in the starting line-up as Everton suffered a 2-0 home defeat to visiting Aston Villa in a Premier League fixture played at Goodison Park on Saturday.

The Nigerian midfielder was replaced by Demarai Gray in the 70th minute, but he was arguably the finest player for Sean Dyche’s team on the day, doing his bit for the team in spite of them shipping their 13th league defeat of the campaign.

Firstly, he received the highest Sofascore rating of anyone in the Everton starting XI with 7.8/10, despite playing for just 70 minutes.

Secondly, he offered a strong attacking threat from the flank. He played two key passes, delivered six crosses, took 41 touches and completed two of his three dribbles.

Iheanacho, Ndidi (Leicester City)

Super Eagles duo Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfried Ndidi started for Leicester City in their 1-0 defeat to leaders Arsenal at the King Power Stadium on Saturday in a Premier League fixture.

Midfielder Ndidi was handed his first Premier League start for the Foxes in six games as he fully recovered from an injury that ruled him out for weeks. He was substituted in the 77th minute.

Iheanacho led the attack for Leicester and had a goal disallowed before he came off for Jamie Vardy in the 69th minute.

The Foxes are three points above the relegation zone after suffering back-to-back defeats.

Onuachu, Aribo (Southampton)

Nigeria international Paul Onuachu was in the starting lineup for Southampton as they lost 1-0 to Leeds United at Elland road in the Premier League, on Saturday.

The 28-year-old Nigerian striker is yet to register a Premier League goal for the Saints after four matches.

Onuachu had a goal-bound effort saved by keeper Illan Meslier before he was substituted in the 63rd minute.

Fellow compatriot Joe Aribao did not make Ruben Selles’ squad as the Nigerian midfielder was missing in action. The Saints are bottom of the Premier League table with just 18 points from 24 matches.

Dennis, Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest)

Forward Emmanuel Dennis was an unused substitute as Nottingham Forest suffered an embarrassing 4-0 thrashing to West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday.

His compatriot, Taiwo Awoniyi. was not listed for the game due to injury.

Chuba Akpom (Middlesbrough)

Akpom could not continue his goals run for Middlesbrough in their 2-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion in the English Championship on Saturday at the Hawthorns.

The 27-year-old former Arsenal youth star played the entire duration of the game.


Gift Orban (Gent)

Sensational striker Orban got a starting role for KAA Gent in their 2-0 away loss to Club Brugge in the Belgium Pro League match played at the Jan Breydel Stadion on Sunday.

The 20-year-old, who signed for the Belgium side in January from Norwegian club Stabaek, played 90 minutes.

Arokodare, Sor (Genk)

Tolu Arokodare and Yira Sor were in action as Genk thrashed Oostende 3-0 at the Luminus Arena on Saturday in the Belgian topflight division to end two games winless run.

Arokodare got a starting role but got injured in the early minutes and was substituted in the 12th minute.

Sor could only get five minutes of action as he came on for Joseph Paintsil in the 85th minute.

Victor Boniface (Union St.Gilloise)

Forward Boniface scored a brace for Union St.Gilloise but that could not earn them victory as Les Unionistes fell to a 4-2 loss to Westerlo on Saturday at the Het Kuipje stadium in the Belgium Pro League.

The 22-year-old has now scored seven goals in 24 appearances for Union 60 in the 2022/23 season.


Olarenwaju Kayode(Umraniyespor)

Striker Kayode was on the scoresheet as Umraniyespor fought hard to earn a 1-1 draw against Adana Demirspor in their Turkish Super Lig match played on Sunday at the Umraniye Belediyesi Sehir Stadium.

The 29-year-old, who is on loan from the Ukrainian Premier League club Shakhtar Donetsk, scored the equaliser in the 90th minute to secure a point for his side.

Kayode has been impressive for the Istanbul side and has registered one goal and one assist in two league matches.

Umraniyespor have struggled with form and sit bottom of the Turkish Super Lig table with 39 points from 22 matches. The arrival of Kayode could turn the fortunes of the club around.


Oladapo Afolayan (St. Pauli)

Afolayan, an English player of Nigerian descent, was in action and gave the assist for Jackson Irvine, who scored the winner for FC St. Pauli in their home match against Hansa Rostock in Bundesliga 2 at the Millerntor Stadion on Sunday.

The 25-year-old centre-forward has played five matches and has yet to register a goal for the Kiezkickers.


Calvin Bassey (Ajax)

Bassey came on from the bench as Dutch champions Ajax secured a vital away victory against Vitesse in the Dutch Eredivisie league match on Sunday.

The 23-year-old defender came on for Steven Berghuis in the 46th minute and ensured that de Joden sealed a win away from home.

The Nigeria international has made 20 league appearances and scored one goal with three assists to his name this season.


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