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Sports News of Monday, 25 April 2022


Simon, Success shine, misery for Osimhen, Moffi in patchy week for Nigerian stars

Terem Moffi Terem Moffi

As usual, Nigerian footballers were in action abroad, over the weekend, but while some inspired their clubs to memorable wins, others suffered disappointing losses, KELVIN EKERETE writes


Lookman, Iheanacho (Leicester)

Ademola Lookman was in the starting lineup for Leicester City in their goalless draw against Aston Villa at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

The Nigeria international, who has been on target in two of his last four games for the Foxes, came off for Harvey Barnes in the 80th minute of the encounter.

However, his compatriot, Kelechi Iheanacho, was an unused substitute.

Lookman has six goals in 23 appearances in the Premier League this season, while Iheanacho boasts three league goals and five assists in 23 appearances.

Emmanuel Dennis (Watford)

Dennis was the provider of Watford’s only goal as the Hornets were bashed 5-1 by champions Manchester City at the Etihad in a Premier League game on Saturday.

The Nigerian was on for the entire duration of the game but failed to find the back of the net and could only watch as his side was torn to shreds by the superior Citizens.

The 24-year-old has scored 10 goals with six assists in 31 league games on his debut EPL season.

Semi Ajayi (West Brom)

Ajayi started in West Brom’s goalless draw against Coventry City in the Championship on Saturday, after being left on the bench in their 4-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest last Monday.

The 27-year-old was impressive, completing three tackles and two interceptions in 90 minutes. The Nigeria international has scored one goal and assisted once in 29 league games this season.


Moffi, Bonke (Lorient)

Lorient striker Terem Moffi and midfielder Innocent Bonke could only watch as 10-man Rennes cruised to a 5-0 win in a French Ligue 1 encounter on Sunday.

Bonke managed just 35 minutes on the pitch before he made way for Armand Lauriente after suffering an injury.

Moffi came on for Quentin Boisgard in the 64th minute.

The loss is a huge setback in their fight to avoid relegation.

Moses Simon (Nantes)

Simon inspired Nantes to a comeback 5-3 win over Bordeaux in the French Liege 1 with a brilliant performance, scoring a goal and also creating an assist in the entertaining encounter.

Simon’s goal takes his tally to four, while the assist is his eighth of the season in the French league. Simon, who returned to the starting lineup after coming on as a substitute in their 3-2 loss to Olympique Marseille last weekend, provided an assist for Kalifa Coulibaly’s equalizer, which took the game to 3-3.

Simon then scored a goal of his own in the 76th minute to give his side the lead for the first time. The game could have been nervier had Jimmy Briand converted an 88th-minute penalty, but the hosts put the game to bed when Osman Bukari, who came on for Coulibaly in the 86th minute, put them ahead 5-3 in the 89th minute.

The Nigeria international made way for Willem Geubbels in the 85th minute. This is the first time that Simon will score and assist in a Ligue 1 game this season.


Paul Onuachu (Genk)

Paul Onuachu was in action for 90 minutes in Genk’s 1-0 win over Gent in the Belgian topflight league on Sunday. Onuachu has scored 19 goals in 29 league games this season.

Victor Osimhen (Napoli)

Osimhen fired blanks in a game that literally ended Napoli’s title hopes as they let a two-goal lead slip, allowing Empoli to score three goals in seven minutes to win 3-2 in one of the biggest comebacks in the club’s history.

Osimhen was on for the entire duration of the game but despite his efforts to get the equaliser, the opposition defence ensured that he did not get a sniff of the ball in the closing parts of the game.

Isaac Success (Udinese)

Success put up a Man-of-The-Match performance in Udinese’s 2-2 draw against Bologna in the Italian Serie A Sunday, providing the assist for Destiny Udogie, who grabbed the equaliser for the visitors in the 25th minute, and then scoring in the 46th minute after an assist from Gerard Deulofeu. The hosts, however, ensured both sides shared the spoils with an equaliser in the 59th minute.

It’s Success’ second goal and seventh assist of the season in 20 games.

Okereke, Ebuehi (Venezia)

Striker David Okereke was in action for 61 minutes in Venezia’s 3-1 loss to Atalanta in the Italian Serie A on Saturday.

Okereke has been unable to score in the last seven league games, his longest goals drought since joining the Venice-based side on loan from Belgian giants Club Brugge last summer.

Okereke has scored six goals and provided one assist in 28 league games. His compatriot Tyronne Ebuehi was not listed for the game.

Ola Aina (Torino)

Aina was an unused substitute in Torino’s 2-1 win over Spezia in the Italian Serie A on Saturday. The Nigeria international has only been involved in two games since returning from representing Nigeria at the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon. Aina has featured 18 times for the Turin-based side this season.


Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin)

Awoniyi was in action for Union Berlin in their 2-1 win over RB Leipzig in the German Bundesliga on Saturday, but failed to add to his 13-goal tally in the league.

Awoniyi, Union’s top scorer this season, was replaced by Sven Michel in the 85th minute. Although he was not on target, the forward created two chances.

Kevin Akpoguma (Hoffenheim)

Akpoguma put up a stellar performance as Hoffenheim drew 2-2 at Eintracht Frankfurt in a German Bundesliga clash on Saturday.

The defender had four tackles and two interceptions in 45 minutes of play for the German side. Akpoguma, who came on for Havard Nordtveit at the start of the second half, has two goals and three assists in 24 league games for Die Kraichgauer this season.


Balogun, Aribo, Bassey (Rangers)

Nigerian trio Leon Balogun, Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribi were in action for 10-man Glasgow Rangers, who beat Motherwell 3-1 in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.

But Balogun was shown a straight red for a foul in the 28th minute.

Bassey was brought on in the 31st minute to help the champions defensively following Balogun’s expulsion, while Joe Aribo replaced Glen Kamara in the 38th minute.


Azubuike Okechukwu (Yeni)

Azubuike Okechukwu was in action for 28 minutes in Yeni Malatyaspor’s 3-2 home loss to Konyaspor in the Turkish Super Lig on Sunday. Karim Hafez replaced the former Nigeria U-23 captain.

Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk)

Musa was in action for three minutes in Karagumruk’s 2-1 win over Giresunspor in the Turkish Super Lig on Saturday.

The Super Eagles captain, who has scored two goals and provided two assists in 27 league games for the Turkish side, came on for Aleksandar Pesic in the 87th minute of the important win. Musa has been unable to get on the score sheet in his last six appearances for the club.

Nwakaeme (Trabzonspor), Babajide (Adana Demirspor)

David Babajide was in action for 71 minutes in Adana Demirspor’s 3-1 loss to league leaders Trabzonspor in the Turkish topflight league on Saturday.

Babajide, who started due to the absent Mario Balotelli, who is on suspension, couldn’t add to his two goals tally in his previous 24 games this season.

Babajide came off for Erhun Oztumer, while his compatriot Anthony Nwakaeme was not listed by Trabzonspor for the encounter. Nwakaeme has scored 11 goals and provided 10 assists in 27 league games for the table-toppers this season.