Nigerians Abroad: Ighalo scores to steady Granada and John Ogu scores first league goal

The former U-23 captain scored a goal that may well guarantee survival for his club in La Liga
Victor Anichebe played the whole match for Everton as the Toffees held Liverpool in the 220th Merseyside Derby and it was made more special as it was the last derby for retiring Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher.

Anichebe who has taken an indefinite leave from the Super Eagles had his first attempt on goal in the 51st minute but that was blocked.

He was however shown a yellow card on 56 minutes. He made another attempt to score in the 87th minute but the right footed shot from outside the box was saved by Pepe Reina.

He had 67% pass accuracy from 36 touches in a tepid affair. He also committed three fouls and had two shots while doing the defensive shift with two tackles.

Victor Moses started against Manchester United on Sunday as he replaced Eden Hazard, who is suffering an injury. It was the Nigerian's 18th start in the league in which he last scored in December against Southampton though he has been scoring regularly in the Europa League where he has four goals in his last four matches, including last Wednesday's 3-1 defeat of Basel.

Moses could have scored in the 17th minute against United when Juan Mata laid the ball for him just outside the box but he shot way over the bar.                     

He was substituted in the 76th minute by Fernando Torres as Chelsea pushed for a goal which they got in the 86th minute through Mata.

Moses had 78% pass accuracy from 44 touches as he roamed and switched flanks with Oscar. He also committed two fouls, had one shot, completed one successful dribble and also got in one good tackle.

Mikel Obi was not listed as he suffered a hip injury during training and Peter Odemwingie was not given a chance to play in West Brom's 3-2 loss at home to Wigan as fans jeered him as he warmed up so Steve Clarke elected to leave the Nigerian on the bench.


Odion Ighaloscored his fourth league goal for Granada as they beat Malaga on Saturday. The goal could be priceless come the end of the season as the Andalusian side try to stave off relegation to the Segunda.

The former Nigeria U-23 captain came close in the 11th minute but his right-footed shot inside the box was saved. He followed that attempt by scoring in the 28th minute with another right footed shot from inside the six yard box.

Ighalo had to leave the field on 62 minutes on account of an injury and he was replaced by Aranda.

Nosa Igiebor returned to the starting line-up for Real Betis as they visited Camp Nou to confront Barcelona. Igiebor played well and at the end of the first half Betis led 2-1. The Nigerian assisted the second Betis goal by Ruben Perez.

He was substituted by Joel Campbell in the 69th minute as Betis went on to lose 4-2. The Super Eagles midfielder had 86% pass accuracy from 53 touches and won half of his aerial duels. He also committed five fouls and won three tackles.

Segunda Division

Ikechukwu Uche scored for Villarreal against Elche on Saturday and must have thought that his goal would bring a point as it was an equaliser in the 81st minute but Elche had other plans as they scored the winner with three minutes left on the clock.

Villarreal stay in fourth position with five games to play and the possibility of a straight return to La Liga can still be achieved. The Super Eagles striker has scored nine goals in 27 league games.

Macauley Chrisantus (pictured above) scored again for Las Palmas as they beat Sporting Gijon 4-2 at home. Chrisantus scored last week and added his 11th goal in the 83rd minute to allow Las Palmas take a 3-2 lead in the game. He now has 11 goals in 36 league appearances.


John Utaka made a welcome return to the Montpellier line-up as they recorded a 2-1 victory over Brest at home.

The Nigeria international has been missing for three weeks which coincided with Montpellier losing three matches consecutively. Utaka has played 27 league games and scored five goals.


John Ogureturned from injury to score his first league goal of the 2012/13 season as Academica beat Vitória Setúbal 1-0 away on Sunday at the Estádio do Bonfim.

Ogu rose from the bench at the start of the second half to replace Marcos Paulo and scored in the 78th minute to give his side all three points.

Academica moved to 11th on the table with 27 points from 28 matches with two matches left in the season.

Academica’s chances of survival have thus brightened as Moreirense, at the foot of the table have 21 points and Beira-Mar, sitting in 15th position have 23 points. The two bottom-placed teams also have inferior goals aggregate compared to Academica. So mathematically, Ogu’s team are safe for another season.

Sidney Sam played in Bayer Leverkusen’s 2-0 away win over Nurnberg to solidify their third position and ensure that they play Champions League football next season. The soon to be Super Eagles player however lost a penalty kick in the second half and was replaced soon after in the 86th minute by Daniel Schwaab.

Sam has played 21 times for the former Bundesliga champions this term and has scored five goals.

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