Sunday, October 25, 2020

Super League: Tosin Aiyegun on target for FC Zurich

GUIMARAES, PORTUGAL - AUGUST 14: Tosin Aiyegun of FK Ventspils during the match Vitoria SC v FK Ventspils - UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round at Estadio D. Afonso Henriques on August 14, 2019 in Guimaraes, Portugal. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)



Nigerian midfielder, Tosin Aiyegun opened his goal account for FC Zurich in their 4-1 thrashing of FC Vaduz on matchday 5 of the Switzerland Super League, reports.


Having come from the bench in his previous two appearances, the 22-year-old was handed his first start of the campaign with the visitors gunning for their first league win having failed to win any of their opening 3 league fixtures.


They however needed just six-minute to take the lead when the ever-lively Benjamin Kololli found Lasse Sobiech with the German defender heading home for 1-0.


Tosin then doubled his side’s lead with a smart finish four minutes before the break with Zurich holding a comfortable 2-0 lead going into halftime.


The Nigerian was then involved again in the second period as he started the move before passing on to Ousmane Doumbia who then unselfishly laid the ball for Assan Ceesay with the Gambian tapping home for 3-0.


Tosin then made way afterwards as he was replaced by Wilfred Gnonto, with Joel Schmid pulling one back for the host before Blaz Kramer scored 12 minutes from time to seal all three-point and earn Zurich their first 3 points of the campaign.


It was a good outing for the former FK Ventspils midfielder who finished with a rating of 7.4, completing 86% of his passes, winning 3 duels, and also making two key tackles.

Russian League: Victor Moses scores in Spartak Moscow’s 3-1 win




Former Super Eagles winger, Victor Moses scored his first goal for new club Spartak Moscow as they stretched their unbeaten league run to five games following a 3-1 win away at FC Krasnodar, reports.


Having joined from a season-long loan deal from Chelsea, the former Inter Milan player started his first league game as the visitors hoped to extend their lead at the summit of the table.


They however took the lead against the run of play after 13 minutes when Jordan Larsson set up Ezequiel Ponce with the Argentine striker making no mistake to fire home for 1-0.


The Argentine forward was involved again, this time after the hour mark as he laid on for Victor Moses who expertly turned his marker before curling with his left foot into the bottom corner of the net for 2-0.


Substitute Leon Sabua then pulled one back for the hosts seconds after coming on in the second period before Jordan Larsson ensured the points were safe nine minutes from time to seal the 3-1 win.


Moses, who featured for an hour before being replaced, had a game rating of 7.5, with Spartak having 27 points from 12 games, three points ahead of second-place Zenith.




NFF inducts newly appointed National team coaches


The Nigeria Football Federation on Tuesday inducted recently appointed coaches of the various National Teams.

The event, which held at the Sunday Dankaro House headquarters of the football –ruling body, saw the coaches taken through important sessions that will aid them during their time on the job.

Present at the occasion were President of the NFF, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who was represented by the Chairman of Chairmen of the NFF Congress Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau; NFF Executive Committee Members, Ahmed Yusuf ‘Fresh’, Ganiyu Majekodunmi and Emmanuel Ibah, as well as the General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, Director of Competitions Bola Oyeyode and other members of NFF management.

First Vice President of the NFF, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, joined via video call.

The General Secretary, Dr. Sanusi spoke on the topic, Responsibility of a National Team Coach, while NFF Head of Legal, Barrister Okey Obi talked on Ethics and Integrity and the Special Assistant to the GS, Mr. Ameenu Mohammed refreshed the minds of the coaches with Amended Laws of the Game.

Earlier in his remark, the NFF President charged the newly appointed coaches to be of good behaviour and give their best whilst serving the nation. He also enjoined them to ensure they maintain a good working relationship with the secretariat.

“Each and everyone here was appointed on merit and the Federation will ensure you get maximum support to succeed in your jobs. There is the need to prepare hard and in quick time for the different competitions lined up, and we believe you have what it takes to assemble good teams and do well at the different competitions you will be participating in.

“Ensure you maintain good relationship with the secretariat and be good ambassadors of our great country.”

First Vice President of the NFF, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi advised the coaches to concentrate fully on the task of winning international matches and championships and avoid unseemly controversies that are of no good to the Nigeria football brand. He charged that discipline, diligence and professionalism should be their watchwords.

Chairman of the Technical and Development Committee, Ahmed Yusuf ‘Fresh’ pledged that the committee will give every support to the teams and encouraged the coaches to put in great effort to write their names in gold.

Coaches present at the induction included the Head Coach of the U20 Boys team, Isah Ladan Bosso; Head Coach of the U17 Boys, Fatai Amoo; Head Coach of the U15 Boys, Haruna Ilerika Usman; Head Coach of the U17 Girls, Bankole Olowookere and Head Coach of the U13 Boys, Abdullahi Tyabo Umar. Their assistants were also present.

Euro Round Up: Olatunbosun, Udo on target; Omeruo impresses in Leganes’ win





There was plenty of action for Nigerian players across different leagues in Europe with Eagles defender Kenneth Omeruo once again showing his class for Leganes, whilst there were goals for the duo of Sikiru Olatunbosun and Aniekpeno Udo, reports.


Kenneth Omeruo: The Eagles defender was on for the entire match duration as his Leganes side continued their surge in the LaLiga 2 table following their 1-0 win over Real Zaragoza at the Estadio Municipal de Butraque.


Second-half strike from Jose Manuel Arnaiz was all the host needed as they sealed their 4th win of the season and move up to 8th on the log with 12 points.


Omeruo who was on for the entire match duration had a game rating of 6.6 has made 4 clearances and also completed 75% of his passes.


Sikiru Olatunbosun: The former MFM star scored his first goal of the season for Menemen Spor as they defeated Bursaspor 2-1 to record their first win of the campaign.


The visitors took the lead on the 10th minute courtesy of Burak Kapacak before the host responded with a goal made in Nigeria as forward Rasheed Ibrahim provided the assist for Sikiru who turned home for 1-1.


Tidjani Anaane then scored the winner one minute from time as the host sealed the win to seal all three points with Olatunbosun named the man of the match following an outstanding performance.


Aniekpeno Udo: The 23-year-old scored twice for KuPS as they lost 3-2 at home to FC Haka despite the impressive performance of the Nigerian striker in front of goal.


Udo opened the scoring for the host on 12 minutes in what was his 5th goal of the campaign but the host equalized in the second half to bring scores to 1-1.


The former Viking FK forward then put his side ahead eight minutes after the hour mark to make it 2-1 but the visitors struck twice in the closing stages to seal a 3-2 win.

Europa League: Iheanacho shines for Leicester City; Kayode also on target 





Matchday one of the UEFA Europa League produced plenty of ups and downs for Nigerian players with forward Kelechi Iheanacho stealing the show with a goal and two assists, reports.


It was however a disappointing night for Africa’s most expensive player, Victor Osimhen who had his first loss as a Napoli player at home to AZ Alkmaar.


Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo: Balogun was on from start to finish whilst Aribo who continues his return from injury came off the bench for Rangers as they began their campaign with a 2-0 win away at Standard Liége.


Goals in either half from James Tavernier from the spot and another from Kemar Roofe sealed all three points for Steven Gerrard side who stretched their unbeaten run to an incredible 14 games in all competitions.


Anderson Esiti and Shehu Abdullahi: midfielder Anderson Esiti saw 45 minutes of action for PAOK before he was withdrawn whilst Abdulahi Shehu was on the bench for the entire match duration for Omonia Nicosia as both sides played out a 1-1 draw.


Eric Bauthéac put the visitors ahead on 16th minute before the host levelled just before the hour mark with both teams settling for a share of the point.


Victor Osimhen: The Eagles forward featured for 66 minutes before he was replaced as his Napoli side fell to a shock 1-0 loss at home to AZ Alkmaar.


Despite the loss, the Nigerian striker impressed on a personal level with a rating of 7.2% completing 91% of his passes, creating one big chance, and also making 1 key interception.


Chidera Ejuke: The Eagles winger came off the bench at half time but couldn’t inspire his CSKA Moscow side to a win as they drew 1-1 away at Austria side Wolfsberger AC.


Kelechi Iheanacho: The former Manchester City striker produced a man of the match performance for EPL side Leicester City as they swept aside Zorya 3-0 at the King Power Stadium.


The 24-year-old set up James Maddison for the first goal on 29 minutes before replicating the same feat just before half time for Harvey Barnes as the hosts went into the break with a 2-0 lead.


The Nigerian then got his goal seven minutes after the hour mark when he received a gift from the Zorya defense before keeping his cool to slot home for a convincing 3-0 win.


Kevin Akpoguma: He was a wall in the defence of German side TSG Hoffenheim as they began their campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over FK Crvena Zvezda.


Second-half strikes from Christoph Baumgartner and Munas Dabbur was all the host needed to seal all 3 points and take charge of group L.


Samuel Chukweze and Kayode Olanrewaju: Both players started for their respective clubs in what was an eight goals thriller as Villarreal got the better of Sivasspor 5-3 in what was an entertaining game for the neutrals.


Takefuso Kubo and Carlos Bacca gave the hosts a 2-0 lead before Kayode Olanrewaju reduced the deficit in the 33rd minute to make it 2-1.


Carlos Bacca then failed to increase his side’s tally as he missed from the spot before Mustapha Yatabare equalised just before half time to ensure both teams went into the break level.


Juan Foyth then restored Villarreal’s lead in the second period but the visitors fought back again this time via the boot of Max Gradel to make it 3-3.


Substitutes Paco Alcacer however settled the match as he scored twice from off the bench to seal a 5-3 win for the hosts who continued their impressive start to the new season.


Champions League: Sanusi, Onyeka suffer losses; Dennis reigns supreme 




The 2020/2021 UEFA Champions League group stage kicked off on Tuesday night with Eagle forward Emmanuel Dennis showing once again that he can deliver on the biggest stages for Club Brugge, reports.


However, the same can’t be said for the duo of Zaidu Sanusi and Frank Onyeka who both fell at home on their debuts in Europe’s premier club competition.


At the Gasprom Arena in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday, forward Emmanuel Dennis replicated his opening day heroics of last season when he shocked record-holders Real Madrid in Spain; this time, doing so in Russia as he scored the opening goal for Brugge in their 2-1 win over Zenith.


The 22-year-old scored a brace on a similar night last season and as such becomes the first Club Brugge player to score on the opening night in two consecutive Champions League season.


Meanwhile on Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, left-back Zaidu Sanusi made his Europe’s bow for FC Porto in their 3-1 loss to Manchester City.


It was a night to forget for the Nigerian whose blushes were spared in the 77th minute after he was replaced as goals from Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan, and Ferran Torres canceled out an earlier opener by Luis Diaz.


Finally, at the MCH Arena in Herning, Denmark, Super Eagles new boy Frank Onyeka had a very decent performance for FC Midtjylland but could not prevent them from losing 4-0 at home to Atalanta.


First-half goals from Duvan Zapata, Alejandro Gomez, and Luis Muriel put the Italians in cruise control before a late goal from substitute Aleksey Miranchuk sealed a comfortable 4-0 win for the visitors.


Despite the loss, Onyeka who was on for 87 minutes, performed above average with a rating of 6.9, completing 94% of his passes, winning 8 duels, completing 100% of his dribbles, and also making two interceptions and tackles each.

LaLiga 2: Umar Sadiq nets debut goal to rescue point for Almeria 


Nigerian international, Umar Sadiq scored his first goal for Spanish side Almeria as they ended a run of three consecutive league losses to draw at home to FC Cartagena on matchday 7 of the Spanish second-tier league, reports.

A deadline day acquisition from Serbian side Partizan, the 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medalist started his second game for the club as they went in search of their second league win of the campaign.

But despite a positive start to the game which saw them dominate in terms of possession and shots at the opposition’s goal, the host fell behind on 17 minute when Alex Gallar played laid on a pass for Ruben Castro with the forward making no mistake to fire home for 1-0.

Down but not out, the hosts resulted in a double substitution on the hour mark before they finally got their equalizer five minutes later when the impressive Umar headed home from a Joao Carvalho assist to make it 1-1.

They then pushed for a late winner but the visitors remained resolute at the back as both teams shared the point on the night, a result that leaves Almeria still in the relegation zone with two games in hand.

Flying Eagles, Golden Eaglets face tough opposition on roads to Mauritania, Morocco


Nigeria’s U20 and U17 boys have been presented with tough tasks in the races for next year’s youth continental championships.


At the Draws conducted yesterday, seven-time African champions, Flying Eagles of Nigeria were housed in the same Group B as Ghana’s Black Satellites and the Junior Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire for the WAFU B U20 Tournament taking place in the Republic of Togo 18th November – 2nd December.


Hosts Togo, Niger Republic, Benin Republic, and Burkina Faso will battle it out in Group A of the tournament, from which the champion team will qualify to represent the zone at the 2021 U20 Africa Cup of Nations that will hold in Mauritania.


Also yesterday, WAFU B secretariat made the draw for the WAFU B U17 Tournament holding in Benin Republic in December.


Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets, champions of Africa in 2001 and 2007, and five-time world champions, will contend with the Black Starlets of Ghana and the Baby Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire also in Group B. The tournament holds 5th – 20th December.


Group A has hosts Benin Republic, Niger Republic, Burkina Faso and Togo. The winner of the tournament will represent the zone at the 2021 U17 Africa Cup of Nations that will take place in Morocco in the month of March.


NPFL: Pillars appoint Frenchman, Lione Soccia as Technical Adviser 



Nigeria Professional Football League side, Kano Pillars have appointed Frenchman Lione Emmanuel Soccia as their new Technical Adviser ahead of the 2020/2020 season, reports.


The 4-time NPFL champions announced on Tuesday that Soccia has signed a one-year deal and will spearhead the team’s quest in the Confederation Cup after CAF announced that teams in the continent must be managed by a coach with “A” license.


According to the club’s statement, the French tactician will be unveiled on Wednesday to the press with all contractual agreements between both parties completed.


“We concluded all the necessary contractual agreement with him and he will sign a one-year contract with us as soon as he arrives in Kano on Wednesday.


“He has met all the criteria set by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) because he has a UEFA “A” license and African level training license. He has also coached football in Africa, including Cameroon, Gabon, Tanzania, and South Africa,” the club stated.


Russian League: Bryan Idowu on target; Moses debuts in Spartak Moscow’s win





Former Super Eagles winger, Victor Moses came off the bench in the second period to debut for Russian side Spartak Moscow but it was another Eagle who stole the headline as he scored his first goal for FK Khimki, reports.


In a game that saw two 2018 World Cup players go head to head, Bryan Idowu was named among the starters for the host whilst Moses who recently completed a loan switch from Chelsea was named among the substitutes as both teams looked to improve on both ends of the table.


After a goalless first half, the hosts broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half from a quick break as Reziuan Mirzov fired home from just outside the box to put FK Khamiki 1-0 up.


Moses was then introduced on the 55th minute with the change producing an instant impact as the visitors were awarded a penalty less than 50 seconds afterwards when the Video Assistant Referee spotted an infringement in the box.


Aleksandr Kokorin stepped up to convert for 1-1 before Ezequiel Ponce ensured the comeback was completed three minutes after the hour mark when he converted from a Jordan Larsson to make it 2-1.


The Swedish forward then added his second of the game 13 minutes from time to make it 3-1 before Bryan Idowu scored what then proved to be another consolation when he fired home from inside the box five minutes from time with Spartak holding on for their 7th win of the season.