A couple of Nigerians were in action for their respective sides in the first weekend of 2020.
We review the performances of these players in this piece.
League actions were suspended in English top divisions, FA Cup third round fixtures with a host of Nigerians in action.
Nigerian defender Leon Balogun got a rare start as Brighton and Hove were beaten 1-0 at home by Championship side Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. Balogun was withdrawn at halftime in what was his only game of the season so far for Brighton and Hove.
Forgotten Nigerian forward Isaac Success was on from start to finish as Watford were held 3-3 at home by third-division side Tranmere. Success had a hand in two goals for Watford in the first half, first pressing well to rid a Tranmere defender of the ball in the penalty area before play fell to Nathaniel Chalobah who finished with his left foot. Then in the 34th minute, he picked up the ball around the centre circle, beat a player with a step-over before driving to the box and playing a pass to Andre Gray who set up Roberto Pereyra to score. Despite having a 3-0 lead in the first half, Watford conceded three times in the second half as Tranmere forced a replay.
Success’ teammate and compatriot Tom Dele-Bashiru opened the scoring for Watford as he netted in his first senior goal for the club. Dele-Bashiru was in the game from start to finish.
Super Eagles midfielder Wilfred Ndidi made a substitute appearance in Leicester City’s 2-0 home win over Wigan.
Super Eagles defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Chidozie Awaziem could not keep help Leganes to keep a clean sheet in their 2-2 draw away at Valladolid in the La Liga on Friday.
Omeruo especially was guilty of Valladolid’s second goal of the night as he failed to properly contest for an aerial ball from which the home side scored the equaliser. The defender was taken off late in the game.
Super Eagles midfielder Ramon Azeez as Granada got a 1-0 win at home against Mallorca.
Nigerian forward Samuel Chukwueze helped Villarreal to a 2-1 away at Real Sociedad on Sunday. Chukwueze earned his side a penalty from which they equalised in the 58th minute before going on to win the game. The Nigerian forward picked up the ball in a good area and drive inside the penalty area before he was fouled.
Ola Aina was in action for Torino who were impressive to get a 2-0 win away at Roma. Aina played a wing-back on the left and did well in both defence and attack. His presence at the edge of the penalty box engaged the Roma defence and gave space for Andrea Belotti to score. He was taken off in the 89th minute of the game.
It was French Cup weekend in France with a couple of Nigerians in action in the round of 16 fixtures.
Josh Maja was a second-half substitute in Bordeaux’s 2-0 win over Le Mans on Friday.
On Saturday, Moses Simon was introduced in the second half in Nantes’ 2-0 win away at Bayonne.
It was the same for Victor Osimhen who started from the bench before he was introduced in the second half of Lille’s 3-2 win away at US Raon-L'Etape.
In South Africa
Super Eagles goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi conceded two goals as Kaizer Chiefs suffered a 2-1 loss away at SuperSport United in the South Africa Premier Division on Saturday.
In Saudi Arabia
Ahmed Musa got his hands on a trophy as his side Al Nassr beat Al-Taawoun in the final of the Saudi Super Cup to win the title. Musa was in action for 85 minutes of the game that went into penalties following a 1-1 scoreline after 90 minutes and extra-time. Al Nassr won the shoot-out 5-4 to win the title.