Awoniyi, Okereke, Ordega, others light up Europe with goals

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Nigerian football stars posted outstanding performances for their respective clubs across the globe, over the weekend. JOHNNY EDWARD brings you the top performers

ENGLAND

Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest)

Awoniyi scored on his first start for Nottingham Forest, who defeated West Ham 1-0 at City Ground on Sunday with his only shot on target.

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In the process, he becomes the 37th Nigerian to score in the English elite division.

The Nigerian striker, who played for 72 minutes, scored in first half additional time to hand Forest their first EPL win in 23 years.

The strike was Forest’s first Premier League goal at The City Ground since Chris Bart-Williams’ winner against Leicester City in May 1999.

Awoniyi, who was replaced by Sam Surridge, had a pass accuracy of 72 per cent, 16 passes, 30 touches and suffered three fouls in the encounter.

Iheanacho, Ndidi (Leicester City)

Wilfred Ndidi made his second start of the Premier League season for Leicester, who suffered a 4-2 defeat at Arsenal on Saturday.

The former Genk man had two clearances, two tackles and 87 per cent pass accuracy. His compatriot, Iheanacho, came on for Jamie Vardy in the 70th minute for his second substitute appearance this season and made an assist for James Maddison’s goal four minutes later.

Alex Iwobi (Everton)

Iwobi played the entire duration of Everton’s 2-1 loss to Aston Villa on Saturday. Danny Ings and Emiliano Buendia scored to get Aston Villa’s Premier League campaign up and running with victory over Everton as Steven Gerrard got one over on his old midfield rival Frank Lampard.

Frank Onyeka (Brentford)

Onyeka made his first appearance of the season for Brentford, who thumped Manchester United 4-0 at Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday.  The Nigerian midfielder came on for Aaron Hickey in the 80th minute of the Bees’ biggest EPL win.

Joe Aribo (Southampton)

Aribo got off the mark for Southampton on Saturday as the Saints ended a run of five consecutive Premier League defeats after holding Leeds United 2-2 on Saturday.

Kyle Walker-Peters fired an 81st-minute equaliser from an acute angle after summer signing Aribo came off the bench to open his account. It was Aribo’s second league appearance since he joined the club this summer. With the draw, the Saints are off the foot of the table and climb into 15th place.

Chuba Akpom (Middlesbrough)

Akpom’s double saw Middlesbrough twice fight back to claim a point in an entertaining Championship match with Sheffield United in the Championship.

Sheffield took an early lead when Sander Berge’s low strike from 18 yards beat Zack Steffen in the Boro goal. Akpom leveled with a close-range finish from Isaiah Jones’ cross after some lovely interplay down the Boro right, for his first goal for the club since April 2021. Ryan Giles slashed Iliman Ndiaye’s drilled centre into his net, but Akpom headed home to rescue a point for Chris Wilder’s hosts. The draw means Boro is yet to win this season.

Semi Ajayi (West Brom)

Ajayi could not help West Bromwich Albion from losing 2-1 to Blackburn Rovers in a Championship game at Ewood Park on Sunday. The big defender has made two starts this season for the Baggies.

Ben Brereton Diaz scored one and made another as Blackburn Rovers went top of the Championship with a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion.

Ojo, Collins (Cardiff City)

Jamilu Collins made his third Championship start for Cardiff, who extended their unbeaten run over Birmingham to eight matches, as they deservedly took all three points in a one-sided 1-0 win in the Welsh capital.

Cardiff led after a fast start, when Jaden Philogene tapped home from close range on 16 minutes, finishing a sweeping Bluebirds attack.

Ojo came on for Callum O’Dowda in the 70th minute and was cautioned 12 minutes later.

ITALY

Dessers, Okereke (Cremonese)

David Okereke was on target for Cremonese, who lost 3-2 to Fiorentina in a Serie A game on Sunday.

The 25-year-old, who paired countryman Cyriel Dessers in Cremonese attack, drew his side level with a header three minutes after Giacomo Bonaventura had scored for Fiorentina. He was however cautioned in the 82nd minute, before he was hurled off five minutes afterward.

Ademola Lookman (Atalanta)

Lookman made a scoring debut in the Serie A, hitting target in the 95th-minute to help Atalanta seal a 2-0 win over Sampdoria.

Lookman came on for Lucas Muriel in the 63rd minute and in additional time of the encounter finished off a fine counter attack move by the visitors, coolly tapping in after sending a Sampdoria defender to the cleaners.

 Isaac Success (Udinese)

Success was in action as Udinese fell 4-2 to champions AC Milan at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Success was replaced by Beto in the 67th minute.

TURKEY

Onyekuru, Akintola (Adana Demirspor)

Henry Onyekuru and David Akintola were both on target for Adana Demirspor, who egded Sivasspor 3-0 on Saturday.

The goal was Onyekuru’s second goal of the season in two games, while it was the first for Akintola this season.

Onyekuru, 25, who joined the Blue Lightnings from Olympiacos on a season-long loan, with an option to buy, scored the second goal in the 51st minute after Morocco international Younes Belhanda had put Adana Demirspor ahead in the 41st minute.

Akintola scored the home side’s third of the encounter in the 70th minute.

The win sees Adana Demirspor move top of the Turkish Super Lig with a superior goals difference over champions Trabzonspor.

SPAIN

Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal)

Chukwueze was a second-half substitute as Villarreal kicked off their LaLiga campaign in style with a commanding 3-0 win at Real Valladolid.

The Nigerian winger came on for Francis Coquelin in the 63rd minute and set up Alex Baena for Villarreal’s second goal. Baena completed his brace in stoppage time as the Yellow Submarines secured the biggest win of LaLiga’s opening day.

FRANCE

Moses Simon (Nantes)

Simon scored the opener for Nantes in the 27th minute but his effort was not enough as last season’s French Cup winners drew 1-1 draw against Lille. It was his second start of the Ligue 1 campaign.

Josh Maja (Bordeaux)

Maja helped relegated Bordeaux maintain their unbeaten start to life in Ligue 2 following a 1-0 win over Niort on Saturday.

Maja, 23, laid on the assist for 20-year-old French midfielder Logan Delaurier-Chaubet to slam home the winner on the hour-mark.

With two wins and a draw in three games, Bordeaux have seven points to go joint top of Ligue 2 as they target an instant return to Ligue 1.

GERMANY

Kevin Akpoguma (Hoffenheim)

Akpoguma was cautioned by referee Patrick Ittrich in the 67th minute as Hoffenheim edged Bochum 3-2 at the PreZero Arena on Saturday. It was Hoffenheim’s first win of the season.

Chidera Ejuke (Hertha Berlin)

Following his impact as a substitute in Hertha’s 4-1 loss penultimate Sunday, Ejuke was rewarded with his first start of the season for his side as they drew 1-1 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.

He was replaced in the 58th minute by Derry Scherhant in his second Bundesliga appearance.

HOLLAND

Calvin Bassey (Ajax)

Hardworking defender Bassey was expectedly missing in action due to suspension as Ajax Amsterdam made it two wins in two in the Eredivisie on Sunday afternoon with a 6-1 drubbing of Groningen at the Johan Cruijff Arena. He is yet to make his league debut for the Dutch champions.

RUSSIA

Ordega (CSKA Moscow)

Super Falcons forward Ordega scored her fifth goal of the campaign in CSKA Moscow’s 4-0 thumping of Rubin Kazan on Saturday.

After a goalless first half, hosts CSKA went on a scoring spree, with the Nigeria international grabbing the last goal in the 88th minute. Despite the win, the Muscovites remain five points behind leaders Zenit and are poised to finish as runners-up in the Supreme Division.

 DENMARK

Raphael Onyedika (Midtjylland)

AC Milan target Onyedika starred for nine-man FC Midtjylland, who blew away a three-goal lead against AC Horsens on Friday. Henrik Dalsgaard and Juninho were both sent off in the 67th and 87th minutes.

 USA

William Agada (Kansas City)

Little-known Agada scored his second consecutive goal for Sporting Kansas City, but his strike was not enough as they fell 4-3 defeat at Austin. The 22-year-old was on target for Kansas City last week, when they beat LA Galaxy 4-2 at home and he brought that same form to the fore against Austin.

Andrew Fonta opened the scoring for Kansas City, before Agada doubled the lead in the 23rd minute. The strike takes his tally to three in five games this season.

Obinna Nwobodo (FC Cincinnati)

Former Flying Eagles midfielder, Obinna Nwobodo, assisted Brandon Vazquez’s second goal for FC Cincinnati in their 2-2 draw at home to Atlanta United.

Vasquez and Brenner scored for FC Cincinnati to cancel Thiago Almada’s strike for Atlanta United. Unfortunately for Nwobodo, Andrew Gutman scored in the 83rd minute to ensure a 2-2 draw. The game was Nwobodo’s 16th in the MLS this season.

James Igbekeme (Columbus Crew)

Igbekeme saw 11 minutes of action as Columbus Crew were held 1-1 at Colorado Rapids at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

The 27-year-old midfielder has not completed a full match since the June 26, and that trend continued against Rapids. Igbekeme was introduced in the 80th minute for Derrick Etienne.

SOUTH AFRICA

Chidi Kwem (AmaZulu)

Forward Chidi Kwem was on target for Premier Soccer League side, AmaZulu, who came from behind to secure a 2-1 win over Cape Town City in a DStv Premiership match at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.

Chidi Kwem drew his side level six minutes after Khanyisa Mayo had shot Cape Town City into the lead. Frank Mhango secured victory for AmaZulu in the 52nd minute.

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