Rodgers Hails ‘Phenomenal’ Iheanacho As Leicester Close In On Top Four

Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho (L) is congratulated by Leicester City’s Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Crystal Palace at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on April 26, 2021. Leicester won the game 2-1.
ANDREW BOYERS / POOL / AFP

 

Brendan Rodgers has hailed “phenomenal” Kelechi Iheanacho after the red-hot forward struck again as Leicester strengthened their grip on a Champions League spot — further vindicating his decision to pair him with Jamie Vardy.

The 24-year-old Nigeria international’s 10th Premier League goal of the season — and 17th in all competitions — secured a 2-1 win for the Foxes against Crystal Palace on Monday.

He has now scored more goals in the top-flight this season than he managed for Leicester over the previous three campaigns.

Leicester, who suffered the agony of missing out on the top four on the final day of last season, now have a seven-point lead over fifth-placed West Ham with just five games to play.

Iheanacho and Vardy only started eight games together last season and did not do so this campaign until February 28 — due to injuries to other players, including James Maddison.

But they have both played every match since.

“The top priority for me as a coach is helping players to develop,” said Rodgers. “It’s been difficult for Kels because of the style we normally played, which was one striker — Jamie Vardy.

“We had to change it around with injuries, he’s come in and been exceptional. Not just his goals, he’s so happy to work hard for the team and his quality is phenomenal.”

Iheanacho has netted 14 goals in his last 14 appearances for Leicester in all competitions, as many as he managed in his previous 76 for the Foxes.

Rodgers said the forward, who joined Leicester from Manchester City in 2017, was a selfless player, shown by the way he set up Timothy Castagne for the equaliser against Palace.

“Over the last few months Kelechi has been absolutely incredible,” said Rodgers. “It wasn’t just his goal but his work-rate, he wants to press the game. He has no ego whatsoever and he works so hard.”

 

Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho celebrates their win on the final whistle in the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Crystal Palace at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on April 26, 2021. Leicester won the game 2-1.
ANDREW BOYERS / POOL / AFP

 

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is not surprised by Iheanacho’s hot streak, having experienced his accuracy in training.

“Kele is incredibly intelligent when it comes to his finishing,” Schmeichel told Sky Sports. “He does it in training all the time. He’s a nightmare in training to be fair.

“He’s just a big strong lad who can put himself about. He’s fast, he’s got absolutely everything to be a top striker and he’s showing it now, which is great.”

Iheanacho is on track to become the first player other than Vardy to top the club’s goalscoring charts since 2014/15.

“That (race to be top scorer) is not what we talk about,” Iheanacho told the BBC.

“As a team we work for each other, it doesn’t matter who scores the goals. There’s so much to improve in games so I’ll keep going, keep doing my best.”

-AFP

Iheanacho’s Wonder Strike Secures Win For Leicester Over Crystal Palace

Iheanacho celebrating his goal against Crystal Palace. Photo: [email protected] City FC.

 

Leicester strengthened their grip on third place in the Premier League as Kelechi Iheanacho’s superb strike capped a spirited fightback in Monday’s 2-1 win against Crystal Palace.

Brendan Rogers’ side trailed to Wilfried Zaha’s first-half goal at the King Power Stadium.

But Timothy Castagne equalised soon after the interval with his first goal since September.

And Nigeria striker Iheanacho sealed Leicester’s second successive victory when he scored with a thunderous finish 10 minutes from full-time.

Leicester are four points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea and seven ahead of fifth-placed West Ham as they bid to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

With five games left, the FA Cup finalists have already matched their total of 62 points from last season.

A late collapse cost the Foxes a place in the Champions League in 2020, but Rodgers’ men are firmly on course to make amends thanks to the sparkling form of Iheanacho.

Going into February, Iheanacho had not scored a single league goal this season, but no one has netted more than his 10 in the competition since then.

 


Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho (2nd L) is congratulated by Leicester City’s English striker Jamie Vardy after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Crystal Palace at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on April 26, 2021. ANDREW BOYERS / POOL / AFP

 

The 24-year-old has 12 goals in his last nine games in all competitions.

He is the first Nigerian to reach double figures in Premier League goals in a season since Odion Ighalo’s 15 for Watford in 2015-16.

Leicester set the tempo as Jamie Vardy swivelled to fire just over from 12 yards.

Despite Leicester’s early pressure, Palace snatched the lead with a ruthless counter-attack in the 12th minute.

Christian Benteke robbed Youri Tielemans with a strong challenge on the halfway line and Eberechi Eze strode forward before slipping a defence-splitting pass through to Zaha.

The Ivory Coast forward eluded Leicester’s offside trap and guided a cool finish past Kasper Schmeichel for his 10th goal of the season.

It was a familiar, dispiriting sight for Leicester as Zaha celebrated his sixth goal in his last seven league appearances against the Foxes.

READ ALSO: Iheanacho Strikes For Leicester To Set Up FA Cup Final Showdown With Chelsea

But there was no end to Leicester’s territorial dominance and Jonny Evans nodded down to his fellow centre-back Caglar Soyuncu, who shot wide from a good position.

Leicester deservedly equalised in the 50th minute when Iheanacho superbly controlled Tielemans’ lofted pass inside the Palace area and slipped the ball into Castagne’s path.

The Belgium wing-back wasted no time dispatching a curling strike high into the roof of Vicente Guaita’s net from 10 yards.

Leicester City’s English striker Jamie Vardy (C) vies with Crystal Palace’s English defender Scott Dann (L) during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Crystal Palace at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on April 26, 2021. ANDREW BOYERS / POOL / AFP

 

Evans stopped Leicester from falling behind again with a brilliant last-ditch tackle to deny Benteke as he prepared to pull the trigger from Jairo Riedewald’s pass.

Tielemans blasted narrowly wide from the edge of the area and Vardy was inches off target before Leicester completed their stirring fightback in the 80th minute.

Evans’ long pass picked out Iheanacho’s run and the Nigerian held off two Palace defenders inside the area before cutting back inside for a blistering strike that flashed past Guaita.

AFP

Iheanacho Beats Harry Kane, Others To EPL Player Of The Month Award

Iheanacho netted five times in three EPL games in March. Photo: Leicester City.

 

Nigerian forward, Kelechi Iheanacho has won the English Premier League (EPL) Player of the Month award for March 2021, beating the likes of Tottenham’s Harry Kane, Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City and others. 

The Super Eagles star was in brilliant form for Brendan Rogders’ Leicester City during the period under review. He scored five times in three league appearances as the Foxes pushed to cement a European place.

“I’m so pleased and honoured to win this award. It’s great to be recognised, but I couldn’t have done it without the support of my team-mates and the manager,” he told the club’s website. “I’m really enjoying playing at the minute and hopefully, I can push on and help the team to finish as high as possible this season.”

During the month, he scored seven goals in four games across all competitions for the 2015/2016 Premier League champions. His volley against Burnley is also in contention for Leicester City’s Goal of the Month prize.

Other players who were nominated for the prize included Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Christensen, Leandro Trossard and Illan Meslier

The 2013 U-17 World Cup winner becomes only the fourth Nigerian to win the award. Odion Ighalo, Peter Odemwingie and Jay-Jay Okocha were the other players from the West African country to have achieved the feat during their spells in England.

READ ALSO: Top Seeds Medvedev, Osaka Crash Out Of Miami Open

Iheanacho is also the first Leicester City star to claim the prize since Jamie Vardy won it in October 2019 and the first time the 24-year-old will clinch an individual honour in the Premier League since making his debut against Watford in August 2015.

Having scored six goals in 16 league games, the Nigerian is expected to continue his fine form for the East Midlands’ team as they welcome table-topping Manchester City to the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

As a reward for maintaining his unbeaten streak, Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel was named as the Premier League Manager of the Month.

The German managed Chelsea to two wins, a draw and three clean sheets in three matches in March.

Erik Lamela’s Rabona against Arsenal also earned the Tottenham player the Goal of the Month award.

Arsenal Beat 10-man Tottenham, Iheanacho Hat-Trick Inspires Leicester

Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane (R) shoots at goal from a free-kick as the defensive wall jumps in the closing minutes of the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 14, 2021. Arsenal won the game 2-1. Julian Finney / POOL / AFP

 

Arsenal came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 for a first north London derby win in three years, as Kelechi Iheanacho’s hat-trick moved Leicester into second in the Premier League with a 5-0 thrashing of managerless Sheffield United on Sunday.

Spurs also lost Son Heung-min to a hamstring injury on a costly afternoon for their hopes of a top-four finish, but Jose Mourinho’s men did not deserve anything more for an overly conservative approach at the Emirates.

Arsenal’s afternoon did not start well with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropped to the bench for a breach of discipline, reportedly after turning up late for the squad’s pre-match meeting.

Mikel Arteta’s men did not miss their skipper as they dominated early on with Emile Smith Rowe’s effort crashing back off the crossbar.

Erik Lamela was introduced to replace Son early on and the Argentine opened the scoring in sensational style as he wrapped his left foot around his right to fire into the bottom corner with a ‘Rabona’ finish.

Cedric Soares hit the post as Arsenal almost hit back immediately and the hosts finally got their reward just before half-time when Martin Odegaard’s shot deflected in off Toby Alderweireld for his first Premier League goal.

Alexandre Lacazette captained the Gunners in Aubameyang’s absence and also took the Gabon international’s duties from the penalty spot after the French striker was brought down by Davinson Sanchez inside the area.

Lacazette sent his international teammate Hugo Lloris the wrong way from the spot to claim a much-needed win to keep Arsenal’s slim hopes of finishing in the top four alive.

Arteta’s side are now 10 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand, while Spurs remain six points behind the Blues in seventh.

Lamela turned from hero to villain with two unneccessary yellow cards to be given his marching orders 15 minutes from time.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, though, Tottenham’s best spell came with 10 men as Harry Kane had a goal ruled out for offside before the England captain hit the post, and Sanchez’s follow-up effort was cleared off the line by Gabriel Magalhaes.

Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (C) celebrates with his players at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 14, 2021. Arsenal won the game 2-1. Julian Finney / POOL / AFP

Foxes on the hunt

Leicester showed no mercy to bottom-of-the-table United in the visitors’ first match since Chris Wilder’s departure on Saturday.

Wilder, who led United from third-tier League One to the Premier League, left by mutual consent after several days of speculation about his future.

The Blades, managed by interim boss Paul Heckingbottom, look destined for relegation, 14 points from safety with only nine games left.

Nigerian striker Iheanacho opened the floodgates in the 38th minute at the King Power Stadium with a close-range finish from Jamie Vardy’s pass after a flowing move.

Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho (2nd L) shoots to score the opening goal past Sheffield United’s English goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale (R) during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Sheffield United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on March 14, 2021. Alex Pantling / POOL / AFP

 

Iheanacho’s third goal in his last three games was followed by Ayoze Perez’s fine strike from the edge of the area in the 64th minute.

Vardy was the provider again for Iheanacho’s second before the former Manchester City man completed his treble with a 25-yard blast past Aaron Ramsdale.

Ethan Ampadu’s own goal from Vardy’s effort in the 80th minute sealed the rout for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Manchester United can move back into second when they host Champions League-chasing West Ham later at Old Trafford.

Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho (C) runs to celebrate scoring the opening goal past Sheffield United’s English goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale (R) during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Sheffield United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on March 14, 2021. MOLLY DARLINGTON / POOL / AFP

 

In the battle to beat the drop, Brighton edged three points clear of third-bottom Fulham with a game in hand by winning a frenetic south-coast derby 2-1 over Southampton.

Brighton took the lead through captain Lewis Dunk in the 16th minute.

Southampton drew level in the 27th minute when Dunk could only help Ryan Bertrand’s header into the path of Che Adams, who volleyed home at the far post.

But Brighton went back in front in the 56th minute as Leandro Trossard produced a fine finish from Danny Welbeck’s lay-off.

AFP

Iheanacho Scores Hattrick In Leicester City’s Demolition Of Sheffield

Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho (C) runs to celebrate scoring the opening goal past Sheffield United’s English goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale (R) during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Sheffield United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on March 14, 2021. MOLLY DARLINGTON / POOL / AFP

 

Nigerian forward, Kelechi Iheanacho scored a hattrick on Sunday as Leicester City demolished Sheffield United, advancing the Foxes’ quest for a top-four Premier League finish.

 

Leicester showed no mercy to bottom-of-the-table United in the visitors’ first match since Chris Wilder’s departure on Saturday.

Wilder, who led United from third-tier League One to the Premier League, left by mutual consent after several days of speculation about his future.

United, managed by interim boss Paul Heckingbottom, look destined for relegation after failing to build on last season’s impressive first campaign back in the top flight.

The Blades, 14 points from safety with only nine games left, have lost six of their last seven league games.

Leicester pushed them closer to the Championship with their biggest win this season.

Nigerian striker Iheanacho opened the floodgates in the 38th minute at the King Power Stadium with a close-range finish from Jamie Vardy’s pass after a flowing move.

Iheanacho’s third goal in his last three games was followed by Ayoze Perez’s fine strike from the edge of the area in the 64th minute.

Iheanacho scored again in the 69th minute from Vardy’s cross and completed his treble with a 25-yard blast past Aaron Ramsdale.

Ethan Ampadu’s own goal from Vardy’s effort in the 80th minute sealed the rout for Brendan Rodgers’ side, who moved above Manchester United and within 15 points of runaway leaders Manchester City.

– Spurs face Arsenal test –
Brighton edged three points clear of third-bottom Fulham with a game in hand after a frenetic south-coast derby at St Mary’s, winning 2-1.

It was a first win in eight games in all competitions for Graham Potter’s side since they beat Tottenham in January.

The Seagulls are one point above fourth-bottom Newcastle, who travel to Brighton for a crucial clash in the relegation battle next weekend.

Brighton took the lead through Lewis Dunk in the 16th minute.

Fraser Forster made a fine save to keep out Neal Maupay’s shot but Dunk’s towering header from the resulting corner flashed past the Saints keeper.

Southampton drew level in the 27th minute when Dunk could only help Ryan Bertrand’s header into the path of Che Adams, who volleyed home at the far post.

But Brighton went back in front in the 56th minute as Leandro Trossard produced a fine finish from Danny Welbeck’s lay-off.

Later on Sunday, Tottenham, unbeaten in the last five north London derbies dating back to 2018, will aim to bolster their top-four bid by recording a third successive victory against bitter rivals Arsenal.

Jose Mourinho’s side have won their last five games in all competitions and can close to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand if they win at the Emirates stadium.

West Ham are also in the race to qualify for the Champions League via a top-four finish.

David Moyes’ side can move level on points with Chelsea with a game in hand if they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The Hammers have won eight of their last 11 league matches, while United need the points to cement their own top-four ambitions.

United dropped to third after Leicester’s victory, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men would go back above them with three points against West Ham.

Former United boss Moyes, sacked by the Old Trafford outfit in 2014 after less than a season in charge, will be returning to his old club for the second time this term following their FA Cup defeat last month.

AFP

Iheanacho Back As Rohr Invites 24 Players For AFCON Qualifiers

A file photo of Super Eagles. AFP photo

 

Nigerian international, Kelechi Iheanacho has returned to the national football team after he was axed from the Super Eagles squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Iheanacho made the 24-man list released by the Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, on Wednesday, ahead of the quick-double 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone this month.

Rohr also called up for the first time, Germany–based defender, Kingsley Ehizibue, who plays for FC Koln, and Holland-based forward Cyril Dessers.

Team captain Ahmed Musa, Vice-captain William Ekong and defender Kenneth Omeruo made the list.

READ ALSO: NBA-Backed Africa League Postpones Launch Over Virus

There are also goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, defenders Leon Balogun and Olaoluwa Aina, midfielder Wilfred Ndidi and forwards Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen in the list of three goalkeepers, eight defenders, five midfielders and eight forwards.

Nigeria currently sit top of Group L on six points, having won their first two matches.

The Super Eagles will play the first-leg game at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba on Friday, 27th March, before flying to Freetown to confront the Stars at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in the return four days later.

The Super Eagles will also play Benin Republic in Porto Novo in June and a home tie against Lesotho in early September.

All invited players, as well as technical and administrative officials, are to report to camp on Monday, March 23, 2020.

See Fill Squad List Below:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany).

Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Wigan Athletic, England); Chidozie Awaziem (CD Leganes, Spain); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Kingsley Ehizibue (FC Koln, Germany).

Midfielders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Etebo Oghenekaro (Getafe FC, Spain); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Ramon Azeez (Granada FC, Spain).

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Alexander Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Victor Osimhen (Lille OSC, France); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Cyril Dessers (Heracles Almelo, The Netherlands); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France).

Vardy, Iheanacho Fire Title-Chasing Leicester To Club Record Win

 

 

Leicester closed the gap on Premier League leaders, Liverpool, as Jamie Vardy extended his red-hot streak with a brace in Sunday’s record-breaking 4-1 rout of Aston Villa.

Brendan Rodgers’ second-placed side moved within eight points of Liverpool thanks to goals from Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho and Jonny Evans at Villa Park.

Jack Grealish had reduced the deficit to 2-1 late in the first half, but Leicester cruised to an eighth consecutive top-flight victory, setting a new club record that smashed the previous best from the 1962-63 season.

Vardy has now scored in eight consecutive Premier League appearances and is the competition’s top-scorer with 16 goals this term.

The 32-year-old striker’s blistering run has given him a chance of equalling his sequence of scoring in 11 successive matches during Leicester’s 2016 title-winning campaign.

Leicester’s surge up the table, after 12 wins from their last 14 league games, has made them unexpected title contenders again and leaves them in position to qualify for the Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp’s men remain heavy title favourites and the acid test of Leicester’s credentials will come with successive fixtures against Manchester City and Liverpool over Christmas.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off to a show of respect to former manager Ron Saunders, who guided Villa to the First Division title in 1981 and died on Saturday aged 87.

Once the emotional tributes were paid, Villa should have taken the lead when Matt Targett’s low cross picked out Anwar El Ghazi, but he fired against the bar from close-range.

Vardy maintained his superb form to put Leicester ahead in the 21st minute.

Latching onto a fine pass from Iheanacho and, with the injured Tyrone Mings unable to sprint back, Vardy had space to round Heaton before stumbling over the ball.

Quickly recovering his footing, the striker glided past Ezri Konsa to slot home from inside the six-yard box.

After bagging the winner against Everton last Sunday, Nigerian forward Iheanacho struck again in the 41st minute.

Teed up by a sweeping Leicester move, James Maddison surged into the Villa area and delivered a fine cross that Iheanacho turned in from close-range.

Grealish gave Dean Smith’s side a lifeline in first half stoppage-time when Villa’s captain shot past Kasper Schmeichel after Leicester failed to clear.

But Evans restored Leicester’s two-goal advantage in the 49th minute when the defender met Maddison’s corner with a towering header for his first goal since February.

Vardy put the result beyond doubt in the 75th minute as he raced clear of the Villa defence to drill past Heaton.

Newcastle hit back

Newcastle fought back to make it two consecutive wins with a 2-1 success against Southampton.

Danny Ings gave Southampton a 52nd minute lead at St James’ Park, the striker running onto Jack Stephens’ long pass to notch his fifth goal in his last five appearances.

But Newcastle were level in the 68th minute when Jonjo Shelvey headed in substitute Andy Carroll’s cross, giving the midfielder three goals in his last three games.

And Federico Fernandez won it with three minutes left when he tapped in after Sean Longstaff’s long-range effort was fumbled by Saints keeper Alex McCarthy.

Newcastle are up to 10th place, while Southampton sit third bottom.

Sheffield United came from behind to win 2-1 at second bottom Norwich.

Norwich took the lead in the 27th minute through captain Alexander Tettey’s powerful finish for his first Premier League goal since 2016.

Enda Stevens equalised for United in the 49th minute with a header from George Baldock’s cross.

And Baldock went from provider to scorer three minutes later when he twisted into space before blasting home.

Chris Wilder’s eighth placed team thought they had been reduced to 10 men in the 74th minute.

But Chris Basham escaped with a booking after initially being shown the red card for his foul on Kenny McLean before a VAR review.

Iheanacho The Hero As Leicester Close Gap On Liverpool

 

Kelechi Iheanacho struck deep into stoppage time as Leicester beat Everton 2-1 to close the gap on Liverpool at the top of the Premier League to eight points.

Richarlison had given the visitors a shock lead at the King Power as Everton produced a performance that may do enough to save manager Marco Silva’s job ahead of the Merseyside derby on Wednesday.

But the introduction of Iheanacho just after the hour mark changed the game as the Nigerian set up Jamie Vardy to equalise and then dramatically scored the winner, which was initially ruled out for offside before a VAR review overturned the decision.

A sixth straight Premier League win sends Brendan Rodgers’s men three points clear of defending champions Manchester City in second.

Silva was reportedly on the verge of losing his job earlier in the week after a run of just two wins in 10 league games that has left the Toffees hovering just above the relegation zone.

The Portuguese responded with a change of formation and his switch to a 3-5-2 worked to perfection for the opening goal.

Djibril Sidibe broke upfield from right wing-back and his cross was bulleted home by Richarlison with a diving header.

Leicester had already seen two half-hearted appeals for a penalty waived away for challenges on Ayoze Perez by the time that referee Graham Scott did point to the spot for Mason Holgate’s apparent trip on Ben Chilwell.

However, a lengthy VAR review concluded no contact had been made and the Foxes were frustrated once more.

Leicester laboured in the search for an equaliser, but the introduction of Iheanacho as a substitute just after the hour mark provided the much-needed spark.

His first effort was too close to Jordan Pickford, but he got in behind the Everton defence again moments later and squared for Vardy for score his 13th goal of the season at the back post.

Vardy had been quiet for the first 68 minutes, but came alive in the final quarter.

James Maddison should have done better from his cross as his finish was straight at Pickford before Vardy rose highest in the box but just planted his header from Youri Tielemans’s cross too high.

Just as Leicester were turning the screw, Everton were inches away from retaking the lead in spectacular fashion as substitute Moise Kean nearly scored his first goal for the club with a curling effort that hit the side-netting.

Silva’s men appeared to have weathered the Leicester storm, but deep into added time Iheanacho collected Ricardo Pereira’s pass, turned inside and found the bottom corner.

A nervous wait ensued with the linesman’s flag raised, but a VAR check ruled the former Manchester City man onside for his first league goal since September 2018.

Nigeria Trash Algeria 3-1 In World Cup Qualifier

World Cup Qualifier: Nigeria Trash Algeria 3-1 in UyoThe Super Eagles of Nigeria have beaten the Desert Warriors of Algeria 3-1 in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Chelsea forward Victor Moses scored Nigeria’s first goal in the 26th minute after a mix up in the Algerian defence.

Captain Mikel Obi added a second on 42 minutes after beating the offside trap set by the Algerian defence.

Nabil Bentaleb pulled one back for Algeria in the second half but Victor Moses’s 2nd goal of match wrapped up all three points for the Super Eagles.

Nigeria now have six points from the two matches played and have created a 4-point lead after Cameroon and Zambia played a 1-1 draw in the group’s other game.

Cameroon are second with two points while Zambia and Algeria who have both lost to Nigeria have one point each.

Georges Leekens’ men are now in danger of missing out on the 2018 World Cup in spite of having some of the continent’s most in-form players and being ranked third in the continent behind the Ivory Coast and Senegal.

Before the match, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, promised Super Eagles players $10,000 for every unreplied goal they score against Algeria, in the World Cup qualifier.

Governor Udom made this promise, when he visited the team at their Le Meridien Hotel camp, accompanied by his predecessor, Godswill Akpabio.

The Governor had donated 10million naira to the three-time African champions, after they defeated Tanzania 1-0 in September.

Governor Udom Promises Super Eagles $10,000 Per Goal

Governor Udom Promises Super Eagles $10,000 Per GoalAkwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has promised Super Eagles players $10,000 for every unreplied goal they score against Algeria, in Saturday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Governor Udom made this promise, when he visited the team at their Le Meridien Hotel camp, accompanied by his predecessor, Godswill Akpabio.

The Governor had donated 10million naira to the three-time African champions, after they defeated Tanzania 1-0 in September.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will host Algeria in this weekend’s biggest African qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup.

Algeria, ranked third in the continent behind the Ivory Coast and Senegal, face a resurgent Group B pacesetters Nigeria at the ‘Nest of champions’ in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

While Algeria could not hold an early lead in a surprise 1-1 home draw with Cameroon in October, Nigeria made a perfect start by winning 2-1 in Zambia.

The Uyo showdown marks the debut of Belgian coach, Georges Leekens, the third handler of Algeria this year after Frenchman Christian Gourcoff and Serb Milovan Rajevac.

Starting Line-up

Coach Gernot Rohr has released his team list for the crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Daniel Akpeyi starts in goal while Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun and Elderson Eciejile will file out in defence.

Captain Mikel Obi and Ogenyi Onazi will marshal the midfield while Victor Moses, Oghenekaro Etebo, Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi are the forwards.

The game kicks off 5pm Nigerian time.

Iheanacho, Mikel, Musa Make CAF Award 30-Man List

Iheanacho, Musa, Mikel, CAFNigerian stars, Kelechi Iheanacho, Mikel Obi and Ahmed Musa are among 30 players nominated by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the 2016 African Footballer of the Year.

This is Iheanacho’s first-ever nomination for the continent’s top individual honour after a successful season with Manchester City in the English Premier League.

The 20-year-old striker has also established himself at full international level after he has represented Nigeria at U-17 and U-20 levels.

Chelsea midfielder, Mikel inspired Nigeria to win bronze at the Rio Olympics, while Ahmed Musa has shone at Russian champions, CSKA Moscow before his big-money move to Leicester City.

Super Eagles Beat Plateau United 3-0 In Test Match

Super Eagles, Plateau UnitedThe Super Eagles on Wednesday defeated local league side, Plateau United, 3 – 0 in a test match at the National Stadium in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Anderson Esiti’s goal and Alex Iwobi’s brace gave the Eagles a whopping victory over the Nigerian Premier League club.

Coach Gernot Rohr lined up his players for the practice game as he intensifies Nigeria’s preparations for Sunday’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Zambia in Ndola.

The coach reportedly made wholesome changes to the playing personnel at half time after struggling in the first half.

The move paid off as the Eagles became more dangerous, confining their opponents to their half of the field.

The starting 11 had Ezenwa, Musa Muhammed, Madu, Jamiu, Agbo, Esiti, Shehu, Ahmed Musa, Chisom Egbuchulam, Nosa and Obaje.

While the second half featured Ikeme, Echiejile, Omeruo, Ekong, Onazi, Mikel, Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Iwobi, Ndidi and Ideye.