Mikel still the Catalyst, Ndidi on the Rise

Credit: Getty Images

Saturday is for football – club football – and several Nigerian players were in action from Europe to Asia and back again.


Kasimpasa 1-1 Osmanlispor

Omeruo YC: 79′

Kenneth Omeruo played the entire duration of the match in the heart of the Kasimpasa defence.

The 24-year-old made several successful tackles and helped his side’s domination albeit their 1-0 lead was snapped.

He also found his way into the referee’s book late on in the match.


CSKA Moscow 1-0 Ural

Musa Subbed off 90+2′

Ahmed Musa started and played 92 minutes for CSKA Moscow when they hosted Ural at the VEB Arena.

On loan from Leicester City, Musa has quickly settled back into life in Russia but is yet to start firing for the team.

Zenit Saint-Petersburg 0-0 Amkar

Olanare out 77, Idowu in 65′, Ogude in 75

Amkar are fighting for survival in the Premier League and they need solid performances in every department to keep that topflight status.

Last month they recruited the services of Olanare Aaron from CSKA and on match day he started in a two-man front line, however his goal drought continues unabated.

The striker was later withdrawn albeit his compatriots, Bryan Idowu and Fegor Ogude also had their chance to help the team salvage something – they settled for a point at the end.


Tianjin Teda 1-1 Hebei

The new season of the Chinese Super League got under way this weekend and by Saturday, Mikel Obi was setting the tone for what will, hopefully, be a better season than the last.

The Super Eagles captain in the second year of his contract with the club and on matchday, he was a prominent figure in the midfield, helping the team make some sense of the game as they came under pressure.


Hamburger 0-0 Mainz

Balogun YC-RC: 34′, 61′. Ujah in 88′

Leon Balogun doesn’t get sent off often – even for a center back – but Saturday was a disaster for the 29-year-old after he got a second booking in a game against fellow relegation strugglers, Hamburger SV.

He gifted the opponents a penalty – to his relief it was missed. Later on, Anthony Ujah was introduced for a cameo but the game ended in a stalemate.


Leicester 1-1 Bournemouth

Iheanacho in 59′

It’s almost as certain as rain now for Wilfred Ndidi as he made the starting XI for the Foxes – his 28th of the season. He continued his defensive duties for the King Power Stadium outfit.

They started chasing the game from the 35th minute after they went behind from a penalty. In the second half, Kelechi Iheanacho was introduced and he was a handful for the visitors’ defence, forcing them into hasty tackles.

One of such won Leicester a free-kick, 22 yards from Asmir Begovic’s goal line on 90+6 minutes and it gifted an opportunity to level up – an opportunity well taken by Riyad Mahrez.


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