By Tolu Olorunmoteni
Roundup of Nigerian players abroad; high and low points, and an update on the injured ones all on AOIFootball.com
Hapoel beer Sheva duo Anthony Nwakaeme and John Ogu have been crowned Champions of the Ligat ha’Al. And what a way to end it, with scores level at 1-1, John Ogu scored the winning goal in the 89th minute to seal an incredible season for the Champions who have equally qualified for the playoffs of the UEFA Champions League by virtue of the win.
Victor Anichebe’s Sunderland were mathematically relegated on Saturday following defeat in the Barclays Premier League to AFC Bournemouth. Anichebe, who played all 90 minutes of the encounter couldn’t do more to save Sunderland from the dreaded drop.
Mixed fortunes for Ahmed Musa and Wilfred Ndidi as Leicester finally reach the 40-point mark which guarantees another season in the top flight. Ndidi, who has established himself in the team was in action as Leicester forced a 1-0 win at the Hawthorns. Musa on the other hand, was left out of the match day squad.
Victor Moses put in yet another solid display as we we become accustomed to seeing as Chelsea dispatched am in-form Everton 3-0 at the Goodison park on Sunday afternoon in one of the most anticipated game of the weekend.
Meanwhile two of Nigeria’s brightest talents in Europe, Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho continue to suffer a lack of playing time at Arsenal and Manchester City respectively. Iheanacho was completely dropped from the matchday squad as City battled Middlesbrough to a 2-2 draw, Pep Guardiola preferring Brazilian Gabriel Jesus to the Nigerian international; while Wenger didn’t consider Alex Iwobi as Arsenal stumbled at White Hart Lane to a 2-0 defeat. The gunner who had progressed through the youth ranks was left on the bench is Arsenal fell to their rivals.
Iheanacho is the subject of a possible swap deal for Borussia Dortmund’s Aubameyang. Any such deal would mean more game time for the striker who must have been disappointed with how his first full season in the first team has panned out.
In the Championship, Sone Aluko put in an assured performance as Fulham were held to a 1-1 draw by Brentford. The result assures a place in the playoffs for Fulham who currently lead seventh placed Leeds United with 3 points and a superior goals difference with a round of matches left.
Emmanuel Emenike made his first appearance since November 2016 as Fenerbache defeated Rizespor 2-1, further pushing Nosa Igiebor and Godfrey Oboabona down to the lower division. Godfrey Oboabona was an unused substitute while Igiebor lasted an hour before he was substituted.
Elsewhere, Kenneth Omeruo saw red in the 45th minute of Alanyaspor’s 3-0 defeat to Raheem Lawal’s Kayserispor. Raheem Lawal was substituted with 20 minutes left.
Emen Eduok’s Kasimpasa fell to a 0-2 defeat at home. The forward was part of the game from start to finish but couldn’t add to his tally on Sunday.
And Ogenyi Onazi put in one of his best performance of the season as Trabzonspor were held to a 0-0 draw by 10-men Genclerbirligi.
In the lower division, Azubuike Okechukwu was in action as Yeni Malatyaspor edge close to winning the Turkish 1st Lig with a 1-0 win over seventh-placed Goztepe. Meanwhile, Sunday Mba was an unused substitute.
As we have seen few times this season, Samuel Kalu replaced Moses Simon as Gent held leaders Anderletcht to a 0-0 draw in the Belgian Champions playoffs, an unfavorable result for Gent. Rabiu Ibrahim and Troost-Ekong were on the bench for the game but Anderson Esiti was unavailable.
Joseph Akpala’s Oostende struggled to a 1-0 win. Joseph was introduced in the 86th minute to add some bite to the attack.
Aaron Samuel was introduced in the 64th minute as CSKA Moscow suffered a title denting 2-1 defeat to Spartak Moscow which leaves them 10 points behind in the top of the table clash.
Leon Balogun’s Mainz 05 suffered another set back, but the Super Eagles’ defender was overlooked in the 1-2 defeat the o Borussia Monchengladbach.
With Mikel Obi still out injured, Brown Ideye led the line for Tianjin Teda, but the forward fired blank and was substituted at halftime as Tianjin already trailed 4-0 to an Ezequiel Lavezzi inspired Hebei CFFC.
In Austria, Kayode Olanrewaju scored a brace to take his tally this season to 13 goals for Austria Wien in the T-Mobile Austrian Bundesliga.
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