Nigerian Footballers Abroad: Francis Uzoho has a fantastic showing, Samuel Chukwueze gets Man of the Match against Atletico Madrid, Samuel Kalu scores in France
A review of how Nigerian players fared abroad over the weekend.
In the Nigerian Footballers Abroad weekly column, we review the performances of Nigerian players who ply their trade abroad.
Francis Uzoho has a fantastic showing
Since returning from a long term injury, Francis Uzoho had a fantastic showing for his side APOEL on Sunday, February 28, 2021, when they beat Ethnikos Achna 2-0 in the Cypriot First Division.
Uzoho has been working his way into top shape. He scored an own goal in early February and has now played in five straight games.
On Sunday, he kept a clean sheet and made a host of saves between the posts.
Chukwueze shines against Atletico Madrid
Samuel Chukwueze made his first league start for Villarreal in 11 weeks on Sunday against Atletico Madrid and was impressive, although his side lost.
Villarreal lost 2-0 to Atletico, but Chukwueze got the Man of the Match award. He was bright in the game and caused many problems for the Atletico defence with his dribbling abilities and quick feet.
He was outstanding in the first half, making fine runs from the wings and picking out his teammates well.
He did manage to carve out some good shooting opportunities, but he couldn’t get his shot on target on both occasions.
Despite being on the losing side, the 21-year-old did enough to be the official Man of the Match.
Samuel Kalu scores
Nigerian forward Kalu scored his fourth league goal in Bordeaux’s 2-1 loss at home to Metz. He opened the scoring after getting on the end of a ball in the box to finish past the goalkeeper.
It was his fourth goal in 17 league games.
Ndidi makes a rare error
Wilfred Ndidi rarely puts a foot wrong in games. He has been one of Leicester City’s best and most consistent players this season.
But on Sunday, he made a rare error that sank Leicester City in their 3-1 loss to Arsenal.
With the game at 1-1, the Nigerian midfielder could not put his hands down and handled the ball in the box to concede a penalty for Leicester City.
It was a strange decision to have his hands flapping like that in the penalty area. It proved to be costly as Arsenal took the lead from the spot. Leicester City never recovered from going behind and went on to lose 3-1.
Nigerian boys at Fulham Ola Aina and Josh Maja are in good form. They were impressive again for Fulham, who could only manage a goalless draw away at Crystal Palace.
Aina played as a left-full back and defended well for his side. He also had some moments going forward. A day earlier, he had won the Defender of the Year award at the Ballers Award.
Maja also had a good game. He was lively and forced the Palace goalkeeper to a couple of saves. He would be disappointed that he didn’t finish up those chances, but it’s usually better for strikers when they get chances.
He made some fine movements off the ball and got his chances.
Fulham have been putting in some strong showings in recent weeks, and these two Nigerian players have been pivotal. If they are to survive the drop, they would need them to continue.
Kelechi Iheanacho got a start for Leicester City against Arsenal, but he disappointed in his 90-minute appearance.
He started well but couldn’t make any impact on the game. He missed a fine chance late in the game to summarise his whole afternoon at the King Power Stadium.