It was another fascinating weekend for Nigerian players at their various clubs.
Find below how some of them got on:
Ola Aina – Hull (8) – Aina was focused and in sync with the efforts of his other colleagues throughout Hull’s much needed and morale boosting 1:0 against Sheffield Wednesday. The 21 year old Chelsea loanee, playing in his customary right back position, was timely in tackles that were called for and supportive of his attackers with purposeful overlapping runs.
William Troost-Ekong – Bursaspor (3): The Super Eagles defender was bullied off the ball by Galastasaray’s Bafetimbi Gomis on occasions earlier on. Gomis got the better of the two as his lethal shot in 11 minutes evaded William’s attempted block in the 18 yard box before beating the goalkeeper – 1:0 to Galastasaray.
Still just 1:0 at that point, William was shown his marching orders in 38 minutes for a sliding tackle on Belhander deemed dangerous enough in the eyes of the referee to earn a straight red card. They ultimately lost 5:0.
Leon Balogun – Mainz (7): Leon played and lasted 90 minutes in his team’s 1:1 draw against Victor Oshimen’s Wolfsburg. Deployed as a right centre defender in a 3-man wall, the 29 year old read the game well to sniff out and intercept opposing attacking moves with effective blocks.
Oshimen was on the bench throughout for Wolfsburg while Leon’s other Super Eagles team-mate Anthony Ujah came on in 86 minutes for Mainz.
Kenneth Omeruo – Kasimpasa (6): The Afcon winner was on from start to finish as his side lost 3:2 to Kayserispor in a feisty encounter this weekend. Kenneth was sturdy and assured in his defensive duties. The match was actually 1:1 until 66 minutes when Omeruo lost his left fullback Veysel to a red card.
Kayserispor’s players capitalised with 2 goals in 74 and 78 minutes until a 90th minute effort from Kasimpasa ended the game 3:2
Shehu Abdullahi – Bursaspor (4): Playing in his more traditional right-back position, after being played as a defensive midfielder in earlier matches, Shehu made some timely interceptions on occasions. His team still endured a miserable day losing 5:0 to powerhouse Galastasaray.
Mikel Agu – Bursaspor (4): Agu and his fellow midfielder did not offer enough protection to their
defence or creativity to their attack to match their opponent’s forays. Galastasaray ran away 5:0 winners
Ogenyi Onazi – Trabzonspor (0): Onazi made a 90th minute cameo appearance in his team’s 2:1 victory against Alanyaspor this weekend; hardly enough time to make any impact.
Wilfred Ndidi – Leicester City (7): As ever, full of running to seek out all opportunities to thwart the attacking initiatives of opposing players with timely tackles and robust interventions and this weekend’s match against Stoke was no exception.
At times, Wilfred can be a bit too physical in his endeavours, nonetheless, another decent day in the office for the Super Eagles top defensive midfielder.
Oghenekaro Etebo – Las Palmas (7): Playing form the left centre midfield position, the Olympic bronze medallist kept his long and short range passes simple; yet purposeful. Etebo was also defensive as he tried to read the game to detect where opposing attacks would emerge and move stop these dead in their tracks. 0:0 the match ended against Leganes.
Kelechi Iheanacho – Leicester City (6): Kelechi was introduced in 62 minutes to inject a bit more bite to the attack of Leicester as they were trailing 1:0 to Stoke City at that point. The Super Eagles attacker endeavoured to instigate goal scoring opportunities with dangerous runs into the 18 yard box and some delicate passes. The match ended 1:1 (thanks to an own-goal by Stoke’s goalkeeper).
Imoh Ezekiel – Las Palmas (6): Coming in as an 80th minute substitute with the game still 0:0, the speedster was expected to inject pace and contribute to a goal scoring build-up plays. Ezekiel did make some telling runs into the 18 yard box and tried to influence the game but he had little time to do this. Their match ended 0:0.