It was a mixed night for Nigerian players in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night as Peter Olayinka handed defeat to the duo of Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun whilst Iyayi Believe and his side produced an incredible game to knockout Tottenham, AOIFootball.com reports.
Samuel Chukwueze: The Eagles winger continued his impressive form since returning from injury as he set up the first goal for Gerard Moreno to help Villarreal reach the quarterfinals of the Europa League following a 2-0 home win over Dinamo Kyiv.
The winger who lasted for 71 minutes before his substitution, had a game rating of 7.4, making 2 key passes, winning 6 duels completing 2 of his 3 take on and also completing 81% of his passes with the Yello Submarines going through on a 4-0 aggregate scoreline.
Iyayi Believe Atimwen: In what was arguably one of the biggest games of his career, former Bendel Insurance forward, Iyayi Believe came off the bench for Croatia side Dinamo Zagreb as they put their off-field issues aside to overturn a two-goal deficit to knock out London side Tottenham.
With his side 1-0 up, the 25-year-old replaced Kristijan Jakic with fifteen minutes left with the host looking for the second goal to level the tie on aggregate.
The substitution did prove to be a masterstroke as the Nigerian leveled matters for on aggregate when he set up Mislav Orsic eight minutes from time to make it 2-0 on the night and send the game into extra time.
Zagreb then went on to shock Jose Mourinho and his Spurs team when Mislav Orsic completed his hat-trick deep into second-half extra time and send the host through on a 3-2 aggregate win.
Peter Olayinka, Leon Balogun, and Joe Aribo: Striker Peter Olayinka again proved to be a more influential of the Nigerians on the field of play as he followed up his first leg assist with a goal in Prague to help his side knock out Scottish champions Rangers.
With his side needing to get at least one away goal to put the tie very much alive, the visitors opened the scoring in spectacular fashion when the impressive Olayinka headed home from a Jan Boril cross on 14 minutes to make it 1-0.
The host were then reduced to 10 men in the second half when Kemar Roofe got his marching order following a very hard challenge on the goalkeeper before things then got worse 11 minutes later when Balogun got sent off after a second yellow.
Nicolae Stanciu then ended any slim hope of progression for Rangers sixty seconds later when he scored the second of the night to seal a 3-1 aggregate win for Slavia Praha who progress to the quarterfinals of the competition.