Kano born Nigerian star Salisu Gero advanced to the next round of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday after finishing second in Group J with Östersunds following a 1-1 draw in Germany against Hertha Berlin while his compatriots and national team stars John Ogu Oguandere beaten Anthony Nwakaeme continued their struggles on the continent after going down 2-0 at home against Hapoel Be'er Sheva on the same night.
Gero's Swedish side Östersunds managed to go through as Group J's runner-up after losing top spot to Athletic Bilbao on goals difference as both teams finished with 11 points apiece.
The Nigerian played the 46 minutes of the score draw at the Olympiastadion Berlin on Thursday. Recall, Gero represented Nigeria at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. The Flying Eagles lost 2-1 to Uruguay in the round of 16.
A first-half opener for the visitors by Papagiannopoulos and Pekarík's 61-minute equaliser
made sure both sides enjoyed a share of the spoils in a keenly contested final group fixture.
Ogu was an unused substitute while Nwakaeme did not make the matchday squad as Viktoria Plzeň enjoyed a 2-0 victory against the Israeli Champions to the humiliation of the home crowd whose Europa League hopes were all but dashed before Thursday's clash.
Two goals in either halves
by Hejda and Hořava condemned the Super Eagles duo
to their fourth group defeat (W1 L4 D1), finishing bottom of Group G with just four points from six matches.
In other shocking results of the night, Group A winners Villarreal were beaten at home by bottom-placed Maccabi Tel Aviv while AC Milan who are
through to the next phase of the competition as Group D winners were stunned by Rijeka following Thursday's 2-0 defeat.Europa League matchday six results