NIGERIANS IN 2017-18 EUROPA LEAGUE: MATCHDAY ONE PERFORMANCE
The Europa league matchday one matches were held last night, with a number of Nigerians representing their clubs.
We take a look at how they fared.
Alhaji Gero’s goal against Zorya Luhansk
Segun Adeniyi saw 76 minutes of action as his Albanian club, Skenderbeu lost 3-1 away to Ukrainian club, Dynamo Kyiv at the NSC Olimpiyskiy stadium in a Group B opening fixture.
Adeniyi, wearing jersey number 78, was involved in his side’s goal and game opener, which came through Gjergji Muzaka in the 39th minute, before coming off for Macedonia midfielder, Suad Sahiti.
Winger, Theophilus Solomon replaced Ognjen Ozegovic in the 64th minute in his FK Partizan Belgrade side’s 1-1 draw with Swiss Super League club, Young Boys at Stade de Suisse.
Former Akwa United and Wikki Tourists attacking midfielder, cum striker, Alhassan Ibrahim was not listed by Thorsten Fink in their Europa League opening day 1-5 loss at home to seven-time UEFA Champions League champions, AC Milan at Ernst Happel Stadion
Goodness Ajayi was not in Matjaz Kek’s HNK Rijeka side that lost 1-2 at home to Greece Super League club, AEK Athens at the Stadion Rujevica in Rijeka.
Ubong Ekpai played for 68 minutes as his Czech Republic club, Fastav Zlin were held to a goalless draw at home by Moldovan champions, Sheriff Tiraspool, at the Andruv Stadium in Olomouc.
Nigerian duo, John Ogu and Anthony Nwakaeme were on the winning side on Thursday night, as their Ligat Ha’al club, Hapoel Be’er Sheva, defeated visiting Lugano of Switzerland 2-1 at the Toto Turner Stadium in Be’ersheva.
Both players starred for the whole duration of the game.
Alex Iwobi’s Arsenal came from a goal down in the first half to beat visiting FC Cologne of Germany 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
The 21-year-old started the match, but was replaced by England intermational, Jack Wilshere, a minute after providing an assist for Alexis Sanchez to score Arsenal’s second goal of the game.
Sead Kolasinac had levelled for the London club with a left-footed volley, while Hector Bellerin scored the third.
Imoh Ezekiel came on in the 72 minutes for his Turkey Super Lig side, Konyaspor, who succumbed to an Adil Rami header three minutes into the second-half.
Ezekiel’s international teammate, Patrick Friday Eze, did not make the trip to the Orange Velodrome in Marseille.
Peter Olayinka squared a pass for Belgium striker, Aaron Leya Iseka, to score S.V Zulte Waregem’s consolatory goal in their 1-5 home defeat to Ligue 1 outfit, OGC Nice at the Regenboog Stadion.
Olayinka’s compatriot, Kingsley Madu, was not listed for the match.
Former Flying Eagles forward, Alhaji Gero scored Ostersunds FK’s second goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time to help the Allsvenskan club cruise to a comfortable 2-0 win over Ukrainian side, Zorya Luhansk at Arena Lviv.
It was the swedish club’s first ever win in a group stage of a European competition.
Samman Ghoddos put the visitors ahead in the 50th minute, controlling a well laid pass from Ken Sema on the right before slotting past the advancing Andriy Lunin, and Gero put the game beyond the hosts, turning two Zorya defenders before delivering a left footed effort into the top left corner.
Ostersunds FK, who are currently sixth in the Swedish topflight, eliminated Galatasaray of Turkey, Fola Esch of Luxembourg and PAOK Saloniki of Greece to qualify for the group stages of the Europa League.
Graham Potter’s side will host German Bundesliga club, Hertha Berlin on September 28, 2017 in a Group J matchday two fixture at the Jamtkraft Arena.
Samuel Adegbenro’s Rosenborg were thrashed 4-0 at Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian . The Liga Santander outfit ran riot with 3 goals in the first half, before adding another in the second half with 23 minutes left on the clock.
The 21-year-old came off for Milan Jevtovic on 82 minutes after picking up an injury.