Sports

Nigerian Players Abroad: Tella on Target as Ejuke Grab Assist

The Nigerian players abroad that featured in this week’s piece following actions over the weekend had two goals contribution – a goal and an assist.

Nathan Tella replaced injured Jeremie Frimpong in the 31st minute in Bayer Leverkusen’s clash with Marco Rose’s RB Leipzig at Red Bull Arena. Tella scored in the 47th minute with assist provided by Alejandro Grimaldo to make it 1-1 and they eventually won 3-2. Xavi Simons registered the opener in the 7th minute and Lois Openda off Dani Olmo’s pass recorded Leipzig’s second goal. Meanwhile, Jonathan Tah (63rd minute) and Piero Hincapie, who connected with Grimaldo in the 91st minute slot in the other goals for Xabi Alonso’s side.

Chidera Ejuke was in action for Royal Antwerp against Royal Charleroi in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League. Ejuke set up Vincent Janssen for his side’s first goal after 19 minutes and was subbed for Gyrano Kerk in the 73rd minute. In the same team, Mark Van Bommel subbed George Ilenikhena for Victor Udoh in the 78th minute and they got a comprehensive win (4-1) at Bosuilstadion. Ilenikhena (41st minute), Owen Wijndal (65th minute) and Jurgen Ekkelenkamp (76th minute) were the other scorers for Antwerp, while Antoine Bernier scored for Felice Mazzu’s side with few minutes remaining.

Yusuf Lawal replaced Morlaye Sylla in the 78th minute in Arouca’s face-off with Estoril. Lawal was on the winning side as they claimed 2-1 triumph on the road.

Imanol Alguacil selected Umar Sadiq in Real Sociedad’s starting line-up versus Celta Vigo at Estadio de Balaidos. Sadiq was kept in check and could not get a goal but Brais Mendez’s goal off Benat Turrientes’ pass in the 12th minute secured three points for Sociedad.

The duo of Tolu Arokodare and Yira Sor tasted action for 90 minutes as Genk and Cercle Brugge KSV slugged it out at Cegeka Arena. Arokodare and Sor failed to net and Swiss international, Andi Zeqiri registered a goal three minutes after the hour mark. Kevin Denkey had earlier put Brugge in front after seven minutes, hence 1-1 scoreline at the end.

Babajide David Akintola operated from the right flank donning Adana Demirspor’s jersey against Ankaragucu in Turkey. David was available all through but could not find the back of the net as both teams shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

In the same championship, Nicholas Anwan was a substitute for Karagumruk in their tie with Basaksehir. Anwan replaced Guven Yalcin in the 90th minute and they were reduced to ten men when Davide Biraschi was sent off in the 76th minute but they were able to nick a point in a one-all result.

Midfielder, Ifeanyi Matthew played 90 minutes for Zurich versus Basel in the Swiss Super League at Letzigrund Stadion. Matthew had a good outing and Romeo Beney was red carded for Basel in the 91st minute and the game finished goalless.

Luis Morgado fielded Junior Pius and Kelechi Nwakali in Chaves’ colours as they play host to Rio Ave in the Primeira Liga. Pius and Nwakali tasted action all through and it ended in a stalemate after 90 minutes of action.

Samuel Kalu featured for Lausanne as they welcome St. Gallen to Stade de la Tuiliere in the Swiss Super League. Kalu could not punish the rivals despite playing every minute, thus they were beaten by a lone goal. Congolese international, Chadrac Akolo netted the decider fourteen minutes into the contest.

Forward, Francis Momoh had 90 minutes under his belt representing Grasshoppers in their visit to Wankdorf Stadium to battle Young Boys. Momoh misfired and Donat Rrudhani’s goal in the 73rd minute gave Young Boys the vital points.

Maduka Okoye kept his place in goal for Udinese as they play hosts to AC Milan at Bluenergy Stadium. Kingsley Ehizibue and Isaac Success were also involved for Udinese as substitutes. Festy Ebosele exited the game for Ehizibue in the hour mark and Lorenzo Lucca made way for Success in the 75th minute. Okoye shipped in three goals as Stefano Pioli’s Milan won 3-2 on the road. Ruben Loftus-Cheek assisted by Theo Hernandez (32nd minute), Luka Jovic (83rd minute) and Noah Okafor assisted by Olivier Giroud (93rd minute) recorded Milan’s goals; while Lazar Samardzic (42nd minute), Florian Thauvin (62nd minute) hit the target for Gabriele Cioffi’s team.

Simy Nwankwo and Chukwubuikem Ikwuemesi represented Salernitana against Genoa in their Serie A clash. Nwankwo led the line for the entirety of the game but fired blank, whereas Ikwuemesi took the place of Loum Tchaouna in the 75th minute. However, they suffered a 2-1 loss at Stadio Arechi. Agustin Martegani broke the deadlock two minutes into the tie to give Salernitana the lead and Mateo Retegui levelled terms 11 minutes later. Albert Gudmundsson then fired home the winner for Genoa through a spot-kick in the 58th minute.

Fisayo Dele-Bashiru made Hatayspor’s team that travelled to face Kasimpasa in Turkey. Fisayo had no goal contribution and was eventually taken off for Mehdi Boudjemaa in the 88th minute. Kasimpasa spanked opposition three nil.

Hope Ejairu

Hope Ejairu is a writer, sports analyst and journalist, with publications on print and digital media. He holds certifications in various media/journalism trainings, including AFP.

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