Super Eagles dashing winger Chidera Ejuke will be hoping for more nights like the one against Rotor Volgograd where he managed to find the back of the net and subsequently netted himself the man-of-the-match award.
Having gone 13 games without scoring in the league – with his last goal coming against Dynamo Moscow on 18 of October last year – the 23 year old winger opened the scoring for CSKA in 45 minutes against Rotor yesterday.
Playing at left wing, Ejuke received a pass just outside-right of the 18 yard box before eloquently setting himself up to lock and load en route unleashing a torpedo that blasted through a body of defenders and past the hapless goalkeeper for CSKA’s first goal.
The opposition defence were always sowing the dragon’s teeth by not closing Ejuke down quickly.
Before that effort, the 1-capped Super Eagle had peppered Rotor’s back line relentlessly; driving through them at will and finding space from tight spots with sweeping leg movements.
As early as the 1st minute, Ejuke drove deep into the opposition 18 yard box before leaving the defender for dead and cutting back to his strike partner Rondon whose shot crashed the bar.
He was at it again in 7 minutes having dribbled and driven past 3 defenders like a hot knife through butter before his deflected cross deep in the 18 yard box sailed agonisingly wide.
After that he ran and turned a defender inside out before launching a ferocious shot that went wide off the mark. His body language showed how disappointed he was at not finding the back of the net at that point.
And when his goal came in 45 minutes, his celebration showed more of relief than rejoice for a winger who had himself expected to have scored more goals by now.
Ejuke continued to be as busy as bee in the second half with a tastefully delivered long range right foot shot in 61 minutes which unfortunately failed to go through the body of defenders on that occasion. Still, the goalkeeper had to scramble to prevent the rebound off a defender from dropping into the net.
After Rondon’s goal in 70 minutes, there was no way back for the opposition: 2:0 it ended in favour of CSKA Moscow.
As for Ejuke, whilst one can never fault his work ethics, intensity, drive and application, he would need to add more assists and goals to his game.
He has played in all of the 20 games he has been available for since joining the Muscovites, scoring a meagre 3 goals and providing a measly 2 assists.
These stats were deemed insufficient for him to attract Super Eagles invitation for March Afcon qualifiers with Rohr electing for Chukwueze, Onyekuru and others.
Hopefully his hard work and efforts will be crowned with enough numbers to attract future Super Eagles invites because I believe he is a player who can make all the difference in Nigeria’s push for greatness in games to come.
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