Naija players abroad: Musa scores brace, as Ndidi shines

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Ahmed_MusaAhmed Musa scored a brace to help Leicester to a 2-1 defeat of West Ham in the FA Cup.

It was another weekend of football across several countries in Europe and as usual, there were several Nigerian players on parade.


There were some good performances and some goals too, while there were also some run-along performances.

Let’s take you into how it was for Nigerian players this past weekend on this week’s edition of Naija players abroad wrap.

England

He hasn’t had the best of starts to life in England, but it was surely a beautiful evening for Ahmed Musa on Saturday, as he came off the bench to score twice to help Leicester come from behind to beat Everton 2-1 in the FA Cup. It was also a great evening for Wilfried Ndidi, who only trained twice with the team after completing his move from Genk, and walked straight into the Foxes’ starting eleven and played the entire duration in the victory.

Arsenal had to come from behind to beat Preston North End 2-1, and it was Alex Iwobi who set up the Gunners’ equalizer in this game. He was also on for the entire duration as they secured passage to the fourth round.

At Stamford Bridge, Victor Moses was on the bench for the entire duration in Chelsea’s 4-1 defeat of Peterborough, also in the FA Cup. However, Ola Aina was introduced in the 57th minute for the Blues.

Super Eagles winger Sone Aluko shone for Fulham as they defeated Cardiff City 2-1, before being replaced five minutes from time. 18-year old Dennis Adeniran also featured for Fulham, but was only introduced in the 81st minute.

At Anfield, there were two Nigerian-born youngsters on parade – Sheyi Ojo and Ovie Ejaria. While the former played the entire duration, the latter was withdrawn with 75 minutes gone, as Liverpool were held to a goalless draw by Plymouth Argyle.

Midfielder Hope Akpan played for 74 minutes for Blackburn Rovers, and helped his side to a 2-1 victory at Queens Park Rangers.

Tom Adeyemi was on the scoresheet for Rotterham United, but it was only a consolation as they suffered yet another home defeat – this time to Oxford United, also in the FA Cup. Osaze Odemwingie was not listed for Rotterham.

Super Eagles first choice goalkeeper Carl Ikeme was in goal and kept a clean sheet as they beat Premier League side Stoke City 2-0. Bright Enobakhare was also on from the start, before being replaced in the 71st minute, while Dominic Iorfa lasted six minutes more.

Odion Ighalo’s barren run in front of goal continued in Watford’s 2-0 win over Burton. The Super Eagles striker played all through, but failed to add to his two goals this campaign. Meanwhile, Isaac Success was not listed.

France

Football returned to France after the Christmas break, with the Coupe de France. Vincent Enyeama was however missing as Lille progressed to the next round with a comfortable 4-1 defeat of Excelsior.

Spain

It was the same situation in Spain too, as football returned following from the winter break, and unlike Enyeama, midfielder Uche Agbo was on for Granada as they were whitewashed 5-0 by Real Madrid. The Nigerian started the match, but was replaced in the 60th minute, three minutes, three minutes after receiving a booking.

Italy

Serie A also returned, and Nigeria midfielder Joel Obi also returned from injury to start for Torino, but couldn’t do much to help them to a win as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Sassuolo. He was taken off after 79 minutes.

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