Euro Wrap: Raheem Lawal’s brace breaks Onazi’s heart


We look back on Saturday’s football action involving Nigerian players beyond our shores, bringing you their contributions or inactivity for their various clubs.

We start off in Turkey, where out of favour Super Eagles midfielder Rahim Lawal scored twice in Kayserispor’s 3-2 win away to Super Eagles assistant captain’s Ogenyi Onazi’s Trabzonspor .

Lawal headed in the equalizer in the 34th minute to level scores at 2-2 before half-time. He then popped up with the winner in the second half, Lawal was subbed off after receiving a yellow card late on. Onazi lasted 90 minutes but also received a yellow card in added time.

Emem Eduok failed to score for Kasimpasa as they humiliated Turkish giants Galatasaray 3-1 away from home. Eduok, a former Dolphins of Port Harcourt star however put in a solid display until he was subbed off with five minutes remaining.

In Spain, Super Eagles left full back Elderson Echiejile failed to even make the bench for Sporting Gijon who squeezed through a 1-0 win at home to Las Pamas in LaLiga’s lunchtime kickoff.
Echiejile is on loan from French side Monaco, his second loan spell that seems to be unsuccessful like the first one at Anderlecht in the first half of the season.

We move to China where Nigerian and former Watford striker Odion Ighalo was subbed off just before full-time for Changchun Yatai in their 3-1 win over Tianjin Quanjian away from home. Ighalo was not amongst the goals but did well enough to justify playing
till the 90th minute mark.

Back in Europe, Super Eagles power midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo was on for 90 minutes as Feirense beat Pacos de Ferreira 1-0 away from home in a badly tempered match that saw a player sent off from both sides amidst several yellow cards.

To the German Bundesliga where record goal scorer and winner of the U-17
world cup with the Nigerian Golden Eaglets Victor Osimhen made a much awaited return to Wolfsburg bench in their 2-0 win over Frankfurt. That was as close as Osimhen came to the field of play after missing out through several months of injury.

We round up this episode, in Italy where injury-plagued Super Eagles midfielder Joel Chukwuma Obi made a return to his Torino side in a 1-1 draw against Juventus in the Turin derby. Joel Obi once taunted as the heir apparent to legendary Jay Jay Okocha was subbed in at 75th minute of the encounter which saw his Torino team finish with a man less.

Obi has battled injury all through his career, which has somewhat derailed a very promising career that is deserving of his exceptional talent.

It is important to note that, he has always been in the Torino team whenever he is fit, going a long way to show the high confidence reposed on Obi by coach Sinisa Mihajlovic at Torino.

We shall be back with more reports on Nigerian players abroad.

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