African Players In Europe: Iheanacho And Aubameyang Shine In England

 

Nigerian international Kelechi Iheanacho showed he knows how to make an impact as he came off the bench to drive Leicester to a victory that keeps them as Liverpool’s closest challengers in the Premier League.

Among other outstanding performances by Europe-based African players this weekend, Jeremie Boga opened the scoring for minnows Sassuolo and they went on to hold Serie A champions Juventus to a 2-2 draw in Turin.

ENGLAND

KELECHI IHEANACHO (Leicester)

Iheanacho had a massive impact on his first league outing of the season to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win for the Foxes over Everton.

The Nigerian came off the bench to set up Jamie Vardy’s equaliser before scoring himself for the first time in the Premier League since September 2018, deep into stoppage time.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal)

Aubameyang scored twice to salvage a 2-2 draw for Arsenal at Norwich in Freddie Ljungberg’s first game in caretaker charge.

The new Gunners’ captain had fortune on his side after seeing his first take at a penalty saved by Tim Krul only to be handed the reprieve of a retake for encroaching by Norwich players.

Aubameyang was clinical with his second chance from the spot and produced another fine finish just before the hour mark to finish at the back post from a corner.

WILFRIED ZAHA (Crystal Palace)

Zaha scored for the second consecutive game as Palace ended a five-game winless streak with a 2-0 win at Burnley.

The Ivorian caught England international goalkeeper Nick Pope napping with a fierce strike that sneaked in at the near post for just his second goal of the season.

SPAIN

PAPAKOULI DIOP (Elbar)

Senegalese midfielder Papakouli Diop’s goal could not prevent Eibar from losing 4-1 away at high-flying Real Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday.

Diop tucked away Takashi Inui’s pull-back to equalise in the 35th minute at Anoeta but Real Sociedad struck three times in the second half to seal a convincing win as Eibar dropped to 16th in the table, two points above the relegation zone.

LAGO JUNIOR (Real Mallorca)

Lago Junior scored a penalty and Lumor Agbenyenu was sent off as Real Mallorca were beaten 2-1 at home by Real Betis on Saturday.

Ivory Coast forward Lago came on at half-time and gave Mallorca hope of a comeback by reducing the deficit from the spot after Betis had scored twice in the first half.

But they were unable to find an equaliser and Ghanaian defender Agbenyenu was given a second yellow card in injury-time for pulling back Betis Diego Lainez.

ITALY

JEREMIE BOGA (Sassuolo)

Ivorian Boga opened the scoring for Sassuolo in a 2-2 draw at Serie A champions Juventus. The 22-year-old dinked over Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for his fourth goal this season as 14th-placed Sassuolo claimed their first ever point at the Turin giants who lost top spot in Serie A.

KEVIN-PRINCE BOATENG (Fiorentina)

Ghanian midfielder Boateng returned for Fiorentina after being overlooked for the last three Serie A games with the 32-year-old coming on for the injured French Franck Ribery after the break in a 1-0 defeat to Lecce which piled the pressure on the 13th-placed Tuscany side.

KALIDOU KOULIBALY (Napoli)

A wayward header from Senegalese defender Koulibaly resulted in the equaliser for Bologna, who fought back to win 2-1 in the San Paolo Stadium. Koulibaly headed to clear the ball away from goal but instead Bologna’s Andreas Skov-Olsen latched on to volley in. Napoli are seventh as their winless run extended to eight games in all competitions.

KHOUMA BABACAR (Lecce)

Senegalese striker Babacar came off the bench in the second half of a 1-0 win over his former club Fiorentina. The 26-year-old, on-loan from Sassuolo, missed two chances to score a second goal late, but his side held on for their third win this season.

GERMANY

STRELI MAMBA (Paderborn)

Mamba scored a cracking goal to kickstart a Paderborn fightback against RB Leipzig on Saturday. Although Paderborn eventually lost 3-2 after trailing 3-0, Mamba caused Leipzig’s defence constant problems, with his fifth goal of the season a just reward for the DR Congo-eligible striker.

ACHRAF HAKIMI (Borussia Dortmund)

Moroccan defender Hakimi put in another breathtaking performance for Dortmund, setting up one goal and providing a consistent threat throughout. Hakimi’s cross for Thorgan Hazard’s first-half goal was first class and will have Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc going over the loanee’s contract with a fine-tooth comb to try and prevent his return to parent club Real Madrid.

FRANCE

VICTOR OSIMHEN (Lille)

Nigeria striker Osimhen scored his first Ligue 1 goal since October 6 with a penalty in first-half stoppage time as Lille claimed a much-needed 1-0 win over Dijon. The 20-year-old has scored 15 goals in all competitions for club and country this season.

GAEL KAKUTA (Amiens)

Former Chelsea forward Kakuta scored his first goal for Amiens since returning for his second spell at the club in the close-season in Saturday’s 4-2 loss at Montpellier. The 28-year-old, who previously played for Amiens on loan from Chinese outfit Hebei China Fortune in 2017-18, has played two friendlies for the Democratic Republic of Congo this year.

HABIB DIALLO (Metz)

The Senegalese international continued his prolific form for Metz by scoring in their 1-1 draw at fellow strugglers Nimes. The 24-year-old Diallo, who scored 26 goals in Ligue 2 last term, has now netted nine times in the top flight this campaign and trails only Lyon’s Moussa Dembele in the goalscoring charts.

AFP

Iheanacho Thrilled With Leicester Move

Photo: lclc.com

Super Eagles Striker, Kelechi Iheanacho says he cannot wait to crack on after sealing his move from Manchester City to Leicester City.

Iheanacho joined Leicester on Thursday on a five-year deal for a fee believed to be in the region of £25 million.

The 20-year-old says he is happy to move to the king power and that he is ready to help the foxes achieve their set targets for the season.

His new manager, Craig Shakespear is also with the describing him as hugely talented and promising.

Read Also: Neymar Transfer Fee ‘Beyond Rationality’ – Wenger

Iheanacho Set To Commence Medicals At Leicester

Austin Okocha and Kelechi Iheanacho

Super Eagles forward, Kelechi Iheanacho, is set to undergo medicals at Leicester City ahead of a 25 million Pounds Transfer from Manchester City.

Leicester City boss, Craig Shakespeare, had expressed optimism that over a deal to bring Iheanacho to the club.

Finalisation of the deal was, however, reportedly being held up by contractual issues, including the possibility of a buy-back clause and a dispute over Iheanacho’s image rights.

The 20-year-old featured 28 times for Manchester City last season, scoring seven goals.

Guardiola Admits Iheanacho Leaving Manchester City Within 10 Days

iheanacho, Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Arsenal, Alex Iwobi, Arsene WengerAs pre-season training intensifies for Manchester City, manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho could be on his way out within the next 10 days.

Iheanacho has been the subject of transfer rumours all summer and reports have added Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City into the mix to sign the 20-year-old away from the Etihad Stadium.

Despite scoring 21 goals in 64 appearances across all competitions over two seasons in Manchester, he has been unable to earn consistent minutes with the Manchester City first eleven.

Leicester City has reportedly tabled a £25 million bid for the striker.

Okocha Backs Iheanacho Move To Leicester

Austin Okocha and Kelechi Iheanacho

Former Super Eagles captain Austin Okocha says Kelechi Iheanacho has made a ‘great decision’ to leave Manchester City for Leicester City.

Iheanacho is close to joining the Foxes after a £25m deal was agreed with City for the Nigerian striker.

Okocha said the 20-year-old needs regular first team action and it’s important he goes to a club where he can achieve that.

The former PSG and Bolton midfielder who was well respected in his playing days noted that it is the dream of every player to command a starting place in a team.

He added that playing in the first team is the only way a player can assess his personal development.

Manchester City Place £25 Price Tag On Iheanacho

Manchester City are set to hold out for a £25 million minimum fee for Nigeria forward Kelechi Iheanacho.

Iheanacho is likely to quit the Eastlands outfit after dropping in the pecking order behind Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus in the club’s striking positions.

This has attracted interests from fellow premier league campaigners like West Ham, Leicester city and everton.

The 20-year-old is expected to follow Bacary Sagna, Willy Caballero, Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Nolito out of the club.

Iheanacho, Oshoala Clinch Nigeria Pitch Awards

Kelechi Iheanacho

Super Eagles striker and Manchester City youngster, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Asisat Oshoala were among the big winners clinching the king and queen of the Nigeria Pitch Awards for the year 2016.

A total of 19 winners emerged in different categories at the 4th Nigeria Pitch Awards that was held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Channels TV’s Austin Okon-Akpan received the football journalist of the year awards in the TV categories.

Channels TV’s Austin Okon-Akpan receives football journalist of the year award

The Nigeria Pitch Awards is an award ceremony put together to celebrate former and present sports people, administrators and journalists in recognition of their positive contributions to sports in Nigeria.

President of the Awards, Shina Philips expressed appreciation to participants and guests at the occasion in spite of the loss of the Super Eagles against Bafana Bafana of South African in the AFCON qualifier on Saturday.

Leicester City Agree Deal In Principle With Iheanacho

iheanacho, Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Arsenal, Alex Iwobi, Arsene WengerBritish news outlet Sky Sports has reported that former English Premier League Champions, Leicester City has agreed on a deal with Super Eagles striker Kelechi Iheanacho from Manchester City.

Iheanacho has been heavily linked with a move away from Manchester after having a tough time getting games under Pep Guardiola last season.

Several clubs have been said to be interested in the Nigeria striker, but sky sports now claim Leicester, who also have Nigeria stars Wilfred Ndidi and Ahmed Musa, have captured the youngster.

Neither Leicester nor Manchester City has confirmed the move for Iheanacho, which will be reportedly worth £25m.

Hoffenheim Target Manchester City’s Iheanacho

iheanacho, Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Arsenal, Alex Iwobi, Arsene WengerGerman Bundesliga Club Hoffenheim are keen on a loan move for Manchester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho.

The Nigerian footballer was an important attacker under City’s former manager, Manuel Pellegrini, last season.

He has, however, has found the first team opportunities difficult to come by in the ongoing season under current trainer, Pep Guardiola, while the return to fitness of Gabriel Jesus has also pushed him even further down the pecking order.

The 20-year-old joined City in 2015 and has made 42 appearances for the English side, scoring 12 goals.

Hoffenheim are set to be in the UEFA Champions League next season and a move there would appeal to all parties.

CAF Awards: Mahrez Is Africa’s Best Footballer In 2016

CAF Awards: Mahrez Is Africa's Best Footballer In 2016Algerian attacker and Leicester City player, Riyad Mahrez has been named the African Footballer of the Year 2016.

He was announced winner at the 2016 Glo CAF Awards which held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city on Thursday.

Mahrez beat Gabonese striker, Pierre Emerick Aubamenyang who was last year’s winner and Senegal’s Sadio Mane to win the African Best Player crown.

It was a good night for Nigeria as Asisat Oshoala won the award for Women Player of the Year.

Most Promising Player of the Year Award went to Nigeria and Manchester City youngster, Kelechi Iheanacho, while his compatriot in Arsenal, Alex Iwobi won the Youth Player of the Year.

The record-breaking Super Falcons of Nigeria rode on the back of their triumph at the 2016 African Women’s Nations Cup to emerge Women’s National Team of the Year.

National Team of the Year went to the Ugandan national team while their goalkeeper, Denis Onyango emerged Africa-based African Player of the Year.

Mamelodi Sundowns coach, Pitso Mosimane defeated Super Falcons coach, Florence Omagbemi to win the Coach of the Year while Mosimane’s club, Mamelodi Sundowns also emerged Club of the Year.

Bakary Papa Gassama won the Referee of the Year Award.

CAF Awards: Mahrez Is Africa's Best Footballer In 2016

 

Omagbemi, Iwobi Others Selected For CAF Awards

CAF Awards, Florence Omagbemi, Kelechi IheanachoSuper Falcon’s coach, Florence Omagbemi and Nigerian international, Kelechi Iheanacho, have made the final shortlists for the 2016 Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Awards.

Top scorer at the just concluded Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON), Asisat Oshoala, was also included on the list.

Others who also received nominations are Super Eagles duo, Alex Iwobi and Oghenekaro Etebo as well as Nigeria’s U-23 team.

Omagbemi, who recently led the Falcons to their eighth AWCON title in Cameroon, was nominated in the coach of the year category while Oshola was nominated in the women’s player of the year class.

Etebo and Iheanacho were also shortlisted in the promising talents category.

For the youth player of the year award, Iwobi would contend with Ghana’s Eric Ayiah and Sandra Ansah, Franck Jessie of Cote d’Ivoire and Sikiki Maiga from Mali.

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.