Connect with us

Sports

The Good and The Bad: How African stars performed in Europe last weekend

Published

on

The last weekend was one of mixed fortunes for a number of African soccer players across Europe, with some proving to be too good while others were just too bad in action for their respective sides both in the leagues and various competitions.

Top of the good category were Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah of Liverpool as well as Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech, who helped their teams to the English FA Cup final.

Others who also made the good category were Nigerian duo of Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey as they helped Rangers defeat eternal rivals Celtic to reach the Scottish Cup final.

The same could not be said of Arsenal’s Nicholas Pepe whose team continued its losing streak in the EPL, as well as Leicester City”s pair of Ademola Lookman and Kelechi Iheanacho whose team gave up a one goal lead to lose 2-1 to Newcastle.

Overall, it was a remarkable weekend for African stars in Europe as we bring you a preview of the good and the bad of Africa’s export to European football.

The Good

Sadio Mane, Mohammed Salah: Liverpool

Senegal star Sadio Mane was instrumental for Liverpool’s defeat of Premier League rivals Manchester City, in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday.

The mecurial forward was too good and scored twice, in the 17th and 45th minutes, to ensure the Reds progressed to the final with a 3-2 victory.

Mane who was voted man-of-the-match was complimented by Salah’s all-round display as they dismantled City with three first half goals before Pep Guardiola’s men managed to pull two goals back in the second half but the damage had already been done by Mane and gang.

Joe Aribo, Calvin Bassey: Rangers

The Nigerian duo of Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey were instrumental as Rangers defeated Celtic in the Scottish FA Cup semi-final to reach the final.

Midfield maestro Aribo and enterprising left back Bassey were outstanding in the match and both picked up yellow cards in the feisty encounter but that did not matter much as they contributed their shift for the win.

Their compatriot Leon Balogun abd Zambian striker Fashion Sakala were both introduced as substitutes late on in the game.

Taiwo Awoniyi: Union Berlin

Bullish Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi returned to the scoresheet as Union Berlin registered a 2-0 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Bundesliga, scoring his 13th goal of the season.

The striker who suffered a goal drought that saw him go some matches without a goal, opened the scoring in the 17th minute before Grischa Promel added the second three minutes later.

Edouard Mendy, Hakim Ziyech: Chelsea

Chelsea’s pair of Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech were on the winning side as they outclassed Crystal Palace 2-0 in the second FA Cup semi-final played on Sunday.

While Mendy played out the full duration of the match and keeping a clean slate in the process, Ziyech came on in the 77th minute for Mason Mount as the Blues cruised to the final, with reward being a May 14 final where they will face Mane and Salah’s Liverpool.

Yves Bissouma, Enock Mwepu: Brighton & Hoves Albion

Malian midfielder Yves Bissoumsa and Zambian forward Enock Mwepu were instrumental to Brighton beating Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday to take another scalp off a top team in the EPL after their 2-1 away win at Arsenal a week earlier.

While Bissouma protected Brighton’s defence and was also impressive in breaking up the Spurs attacks as well as driving forward when they were attacking, Mwepu made sure the Tottenham backline had no moment of rest with his runs and trickery upfront.

The Bad

Nicolas Pepe: Arsenal

Just like the Arsenal team in general, the duo of Cote d’ivoire striker, Nicolas Pepe, could not live up to expectation as the Gunners suffered a third straight defeat at Southampton in the EPL.

Pepe’s introduction in the 70th minute for Nuno Tavares, could not alter the scoreline in favour of the Gunners as he was practically lost in the game as Arsenal chased an equaliser that did not come.

Maxwel Cornet: Burnley

Ivorian striker Maxwel Cornet makes the bad as he made an unwanted history by missing a penalty as Burnley ended up drawing 1-1 against West Ham United in London.

Cornet made history by becoming only the third Burnley player to fail to convert a penalty in the Premier League, after Scott Arfield (September 2014 vs Crystal Palace) and Matthew Taylor (April 2015 vs Leicester City).

Cornet also entered the history books as he missed the 50th spot-kick West Ham have conceded at home.

Ademola Lookman, Kelechi Iheanacho, Patson Daka: Leicester City

Ademola Lookman could have made the good list after scoring Leicester’s only goal but ended up on the losing side with a 2-1 defeat to Newcastle.

However, the Nigerian made a personal career-best stat as he has scored in each of his last three Premier League starts for Leicester.

But the same could not be said of Zambian striker Patson Daka who has failed to score in his last 12 matches for the Foxes in all competitions.

He was replaced in the 78th minute by Kelechi Iheanacho who did not fare any better.

Sports

Exclusive: How Super Eagles captain Musa parted ways with Turkish club Sivasspor

Published

on

Contrary to various reports in some Nigerian media that Turkish Super Lig club, Sivasspor, sacked Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, due to low productivity, africanewswatch.com can authoritatively report that the veteran winger was the one who terminated his contract with the club.

A close associate of the Jos, Plateau State-born Musa, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the player decided to quit the club as they had failed to pay his salaries for the past six months.

“Please disregard the rumours that Ahmed Musa was sacked by Sivasspor of Turkey. The rumour has no iota of truth in it.

“On the contrary, it was Musa who terminated the contract and it was mutually agreed that it was the best step going forward.

“I can tell you that Ahmed had informed the club since December that he wanted to cut short his contract after they failed in their obligations.

“So it is appalling that some media houses will publish unverified reports that Musa was sacked by Sivasspor without even making any effort to confirm the true position of things. It is sad, to say the least,” the associate who is a member of Musa’s management team, said.

According to him, the veteran player is already working on a move to another club in the summer after leaving Sivasspor which he joined in 2022 from another Turkish outfit, Fatih Karagumruk.

Continue Reading

Sports

Napoli fans vote Osimhen best striker ahead of Higuain, Cavani

Published

on

Fans of Italian Serie A side,
Napoli, have voted Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen, as the best forward the club has had, ahead of clubs legends like Edinson Cavani and Gonzalo Higuain.

Shortly before the Champions League match between Napoli and Barcelona last week, the fans were tasked with picking the best of the three strikers who had y made great impacts in the team in their recent history.

After a poll, Cavani, Higuain, and Osimhen’s names popped up and although the poll had split opinions, the African Footballer of the Year came out on top.

The poll was conducted randomly as the fans were handed the quiz as they were making their way into the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium for the match.

When the results of the poll were collated at the end of the match where the Super Eagles forward scored the equaliser to tie the match at 1-1, the total number of votes was 38, split as follows:

MVictor Osimhen (18), Edinson Cavani (14) and Gonzalo Higuain (6), with the Nigeria international being the clear winner.

Cavani, who joined Napoli in 2010, quickly established himself as a dominant force in Serie A and during his time with the club, he helped Napoli clinch the Coppa Italia in 2012 and was the Serie A top scorer in the 2012-13 season with 29 league goals.

He scored 104 goals in 138 appearances and demonstrated his vital role in the team’s success, earning him the nickname “El Matador” for his clinical finishing and composure in front of goal.

Higuaín who starred for between 2013 to 2016, broke the Serie A goal scoring record in the 2015-16 season by scoring 36 league goals, setting a new Serie A record for most goals in a season.

On his part, Osimhen was sensational last season as he led Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years, scoring 26 goals to emerge the highest goal scorer, the first African player to achieve such feat in the Italian league.

Continue Reading

EDITOR’S PICK

Sports7 hours ago

Exclusive: How Super Eagles captain Musa parted ways with Turkish club Sivasspor

Contrary to various reports in some Nigerian media that Turkish Super Lig club, Sivasspor, sacked Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa,...

Tech10 hours ago

IFC to support 100 women-led startups through She Wins Africa

The International Financial Corporation (IFC) has selected 100 women-led startup owners to support through the She Wins Africa program, an...

VenturesNow10 hours ago

Highest in East Africa, Uganda’s trade surplus with Congo DR hits $53 million

According to the Ministry of Finance’s Performance of the Economy report, Uganda had the largest trade surplus with the Democratic...

Culture10 hours ago

SA police arrest seven suspects in connection with rapper AKA’s murder

The South African Police says it has arrested seven suspects in connection with the murder of rapper, Kiernan Forbes, popularly...

Metro11 hours ago

Zambian Police to charge ex-President Lungu over ‘people will rise’ comment

The Zambian Police says they are going to charge former President Edgar Lungu to court over a recent comment credited...

Musings From Abroad17 hours ago

US appoints Tom Perriello new special envoy to Sudan

In an attempt to exert direct influence over Sudan’s peace process, the United States has appointed congressman and former diplomat,...

VenturesNow17 hours ago

Nigeria’s Central Bank clears another $400 million FX backlog

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CNB) paid out an additional $400 million in legitimate foreign exchange backlog to individuals who...

Metro18 hours ago

Nigerian govt debunks coup reports

The Nigerian government has dismissed a report that has been making the rounds in the past couple of days of...

VenturesNow18 hours ago

Nigeria’s central bank raises interest rate to 22.75 %

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), during its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on Tuesday, raised its benchmark interest rate,...

VenturesNow18 hours ago

Nigeria’s central bank issues guidelines to oversee digital platforms in financial institutions

Nigeria’s central bank, the CBN, has released new regulations dubbed ‘Exposure Draft of the Risk-based Cyber Cyber-security Framework and Guidelines...

Trending