Nigerians in Europe (Weekend Recap): Balogun, Awoniyi remain outstanding; Iheanacho yet to start


Nigerian players were at it again in Europe last weekend, with a number of them helping their teams to solid victories.

Leon Balogun claimed the Man of the Match award in the Old Firm Derby in Scotland, while Taiwo Awoniyi continued to fire for Union Berlin in Germany. Meanwhile, in England, Kelechi Iheanacho started from the bench for Leicester again.

Here’s a rundown of the performances of Nigerian stars:

Leon Balogun

Balogun was an immovable force in defence for Rangers as his side claimed a huge 1–0 victory over Celtic in the Old Firm Derby on Sunday. His outstanding performance saw him claim the Man of the Match award.

Balogun’s teammate, Joe Aribo was also involved for the entire game as Rangers registered consecutive wins for the first time this season.

Taiwo Awoniyi

Awoniyi helped Union Berlin to their first win of the Bundesliga season. The Nigerian forward scored the second in his side’s 2–1 home win against Borussia Mochengladbach. The 24-year-old has now scored three goals in as many league games for Union Berlin this season. Fine form!

Arnaut Danjuma

Danjuma grabbed his first La Liga goal for Villarreal in their 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid on Sunday. The 24-year-old came off the bench in the 63rd minute and went on to find the back of the net nine minutes later.

Wilfred Ndidi

Ndidi was in action for Leicester as the Foxes beat Norwich 2–1 in the Premier League. The defensive midfielder played from start to finish, while forward Kelechi Iheanacho came on in the 67th minute. Iheanacho hasn’t started a league game yet for Leicester this season.

Iheanacho was in fine form for Leicester last season, but he has yet to start a league game for the club this season.

Still in the Premier League, Emmanuel Dennis, Oghenekaro Etebo and William Troost-Ekong played 90 minutes in Watford’s 1–0 loss to Tottenham.

Olanrewaju Kayode

Kayode received a red card as Sivasspor secured a 2-2 draw against Goztepe on Sunday evening.

The former Manchester City striker was shown a straight red for serious foul play in the 70th minute. Goztepe took advantage of the numerical difference to net an equaliser six minutes from time.

Meanwhile, Obinna Nwobodo played all 90 minutes for Goztepe, while his teammate Brown Ideye was an unused substitute.

Still in the Turkish league, Ahmed Musa‘s Karagumruk fell to a 1–0 defeat to Besiktas. The Nigerian captain was subbed off in the 72nd minute.

Elsewhere, Anthony Nwakaeme scored the winning goal as Trabzonspor defeated Giresunspor 1-0 on Sunday. The win sent them to the top of the Turkish Super Lig table.

Nwakaeme, 32, has now scored at least a goal in each of Trabzonspor’s first three league games.

Noni Madueke

In the Dutch Eredivisie, Madueke featured for 45 minutes as PSV Eindhoven claimed a 5-2 win over Groningen at the Philips Stadium on Saturday.

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