The group stage of the 2020/2021 Europa League kicked off on Thursday, October 22, 2020, with a host of Nigerian players in action.
From Victor Osimhen to Samuel Chukwueze, we look at how Nigerian players fared on the opening night.
Osimhen fires blank
Victor Osimhen could not find the net in a poor night for Napoli who lost 1-0 at home to AZ Alkmaar.
Osimhen had two chances in the game but his deflected effort just inside in the area was saved by the goalkeeper in the first half while he had a fine header straight into the goalkeeper’s hands.
He was taken off in the 66th minute.
Leon Balogun solid
Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun had a solid night for Rangers who got a 2-0 win away at Standard Liege.
Balogun and his central defensive partner Connor Goldson had a brilliant night at the back to help the Scottish side to a clean sheet.
His compatriot and teammate Joe Aribo was a second-half substitute in the game.
Nigerian midfielder Anderson Esiti played just the first half of PAOK’s 1-1 draw with AC Omonia.
Two assists and a goal for Iheanacho
Kelechi Iheanacho had a brilliant evening with two assists and a goal for Leicester City who beat Ukrainian side FC Zorya Luhansk.
Iheanacho assisted James Maddison and Harvey Barnes in the first half before adding a goal in the second half.
Samuel Chukwueze impresses
Although an assist was not registered in his name, Samuel Chukwueze created two goals for Villarreal who got a thrilling 5-3 win over Turkish side Sivasspor at home.
It was Chukwueze’s parried effort that fell to Takefusa Kubo who opened the scoring for the night. With the score at 3-3, Chukuweze was instrumental in Villarreal taking the lead again when he slipped in a pass in the box for Paco Alcacer who had to finish from his second effort after his first came off the goalkeeper.
In the same game, Nigerian forward Olarenwaju Kayode scored the equaliser for Sivasspor in the 33rd minute to make it 1-1.
Kayode raced on to a long pass played over the Villarreal defence and scored to bring his side level before raising his fist in tribute to the #EndSARS protests back home in Nigeria.
Super Eagles forward Chidera Ejuke was a second-half substitute for CSKA Moscow who got a 1-1 draw away at Wolfsberg.