It was a good outing for Nigerian players in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night as the Round of 16 took centre stage across different cities in Europe with the duo of Joe Aribo and Samuel Chukwueze picking up impressive results, AOIFootball.com reports.
Samuel Chukwueze: The Eagles winger started for visitors Villarreal as they put one foot into the quarterfinals stage following a 2-0 win away at Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv.
Idolized by a fan on his arrival in Kyiv, the 21-year-old started on the right side of a front three formation with the duo of Gerard Moreno and Paco Alcacer also starting alongside the Nigerian.
Spanish defender Pau Torres put the visitors ahead on the half-hour mark off an assist from Moreno before former Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol made it 2-0 after the break to seal a comfortable first-leg win for the Spanish side who go into next week’s return leg with plenty of confidence.
Chukwueze, who was on for 84 minutes, had a game rating of 6.9, created 2 big chances, completed 73% of his passes, and also made one key tackle in the clash.
Peter Olayinka and Joe Aribo: Days after being crowned Scottish champions, midfielder Joe Aribo was in search of a league and continental double as his Rangers side traveled to Prague to face Peter Olayinka’s Sparta Praha.
The hosts however got off to a perfect start when Olayinka served up the ball for Nicolae Stanciu with the midfielder doing plenty of the work as he fired home from the edge of the box to give them a 1-0 lead.
Down but not out, Rangers clawed their way back into the tie just before the break when Ianis Ajagu squared up Filip Helander from three yards with the Swedish defender tapping into an empty net to make it 1-1.
Both teams however failed to replicate their first-half performances as the game ended 1-1 with Rangers taking the advantage back to Scotland ahead of the return leg next Thursday.
Olayinka, who featured for 45 minutes, had a game rating of 6.8, while Aribo who saw 84 minutes of action also had a game rating of 6.8. Leon Balogun was absent from the visitor’s match day program.