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Sports News of Friday, 24 December 2021


Super Eagles watch: Sanusi helps Porto to a convincing win, but Okoye is beaten again

Super Eagles Zaidu Sanusi Super Eagles Zaidu Sanusi

The Nigerian stars were in action for their teams, but whilst one is basking in the euphoria of his victory, the other rueing his fortunes

Super Eagles left-back Zaidu Sanusi played all 90 minutes as his side thrashed Portuguese rivals Benfica 3-0 in the quarterfinals of the Taca de Portugal.

The Dragons entertained a very good Benfica side at the Estadio do Dragao. Both teams went into the fixture with a three-game winning run, and it seemed like both sides were evenly matched.

However, Porto were slight favourites, as they had won three of their last five games against Benfica, the other two were draws.

Porto looked up to the task from the first blast of the whistle and went two goals up in the first seven minutes, courtesy of Evanilson and Vitinha.

Benfica struggled to match their Portuguese rivals, and in the 31st minute, Porto tripled their lead through Evanilson.

However, they were gifted a lifeline just before the break when Evanilson received his marching orders after a second yellow card, but they failed to make the advantage count.

Sanusi put up an outstanding performance despite Porto’s one-man deficit. The Nigeria international made two interceptions, four clearances and three tackles. He also won six of his thirteen duels and had a 70 percent pass accuracy.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, it was a night of mixed fortune Super Eagles shot-stopper Maduka Okoye as Sparta Rotterdam had to settle for a 1-1 draw against fellow relegation-threatened side Waalwijk.

Okoye was beaten in the 27th minute after Jens Odgaard neatly finished behind him. However, Vito Van Crooij equalized for Sparta Rotterdam six minutes before the break.

The Super Eagles goalkeeper faced two shots in the second half, but he was up to the task and ensured his team stayed in the game.

However, despite Okoye’s efforts, it ended 1-1 at the Stadion Het Kasteel, and the result means Sparta Rotterdam will spend the winter in relegation waters.