Inspiring Nigerian performances from the weekend

Which of the nation’s stars thrived in Europe over the weekend?

William Troost-Ekong (Instagram/William Troost-Ekong)

William Troost-Ekong

Despite falling to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Leeds United, Troost-Ekong was one of Watford’s better players on a tough afternoon at Elland Road.

The center-back racked up seven clearances — no player on either side had more — he blocked a staggering four shots — also a game-high — as the Hornets faced wave after wave of Leeds attacks.

Troost-Ekong certainly didn’t deserve to end on the losing side after a strong defensive showing against Marcelo Bielsa’s men.

Kelechi Iheanacho

Brendan Rodgers finally granted Seniorman his first Premier League start of the season and the Leicester City frontman repaid his manager’s faith by opening the scoring against Crystal Palace.

The encounter at Selhurst Park ended 2-2 after Patrick Vieira’s men fought back from two goals down to level in South London, but Iheanacho’s cool finish suggests he can be trusted to deliver the goods for the ex-Liverpool boss.

The forward’s 31st-minute strike came from his sole attempt all game before his withdrawal with 19 minutes remaining.

Iheanacho’s now contributed to four goals in his last five Leicester games in all competitions.

Taiwo Awoniyi

After a dry spell in front of goal, Awoniyi netted his first Bundesliga strikes since late October when he netted a pair of goals in Union Berlin’s comeback 2-1 win over Mainz.

The brace takes the frontman’s tally in the Bundesliga to five goals from seven games, as many league goals as he scored in the entirety of last season.

The Union striker was subsequently called up to the Nigeria squad on Sunday, replacing Terem Moffi.

“Taiwo Awoniyi called up to replace injured Terem Moffi for the World Cup qualifier vs Central African Republic. Get well soon Terem,” read a statement on the Super Eagles’ social media page.

Awoniyi could make his Super Eagles debut in either encounter.

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Seye Omidiora is a passionate football writer and pundit whose deep appreciation for the beautiful game exceeds the usual. He is currently a columnist for Goal Africa and has previously written for Vital Football UK, IBCity Info and Opera News.

Follow him on Twitter @theReal_SeyE

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