Nigerians Abroad: John Utaka, Abdul Ajagun and Michael Babatunde score first league goals

Debut goals were the norm this past weekend from Ukraine to Turkey and further to Greece

Mikel Obi  started his first league match for Chelsea and it ended in a 1-0 defeat away at Goodison Park against Everton.

Obi played all 90 minutes and showed excellent touches and movement all around the pitch and he had 93% pass accuracy from 81 touches of the ball. He successfully made four tackles, committed two fouls and incredibly for Chelsea completed one dribble and attempted one shot, which was wide off target. He also received a yellow card in the 86th minute for a foul on Ross Barkley.

Sone Aluko started for Hull City in their 1-1 home draw with Cardiff City, for whom Peter Odemwingie was an unused substitute. Aluko played all 90 minutes and completed 91% of his attempted 51 passes. He also successfully completed three dribbles while attempting five shots.

He attempted a shot in the sixth minute, which was saved and went close from inside the box on 26 minutes. Another right-footed shot in the 36th minute went wide while Maynor Figueroa blocked a goal-bound effort in the 44th minute.

West Brom scored their first goal of the season with Victor Anichebe also making his debut for the Baggies. Anichebe started and played for 78 minutes before Saido Berahino substituted him. Anichebe had an 87% pass accuracy from 25 touches of the ball and won all his aerial duels. He also attempted three shots and should have scored in the 54th minute but the shot was directly at the goalkeeper.


Millwall’s season cannot get any worse after they were hammered 5-1 at home by Derby County on Saturday. Daniel Shittu played all 90 minutes and all he got for his sweat was a yellow card in the 45th minute. Millwall are bottom of the league table with two points from six matches.

It was another clean sheet for QPR and Nedum Onuoha on Saturday as they got a 1-0 victory over Birmingham City to stay joint top with Blackpool on the table with 16 points from six games. Onuoha has been a stalwart in the defence for Harry Redknapp and played all 90 minutes.


Imoh Ezekiel scored his second league goal in seven games as Standard Liege won 4-2 away to KV Oostende. Ezekiel equalized for Standard after they conceded their first league goal to Laurent Depoitre in the 13th minute. He was shown a yellow card for too boisterous a celebration in the 25th minute.

Ezekiel lasted all 90 minutes and Standard are still top of the league table with 21 points from seven games. Michy Batshuayi scored the other three goals.

Cercle Brugge were defeated 3-0 away to Lokeren on Saturday with Michael Uchebo coming on as a 60th minute substitute for Gaetano Monachello. Uchebo is yet to open his account for the season.

Ahmed Musa could not make it four goals in four consecutive matches for CSKA Moscow but helped in setting up Konstantin Bazelyuk to score the only goal against Rostov on Saturday.

The August Player of the Month teed up Bazelyuk in the 71st minute and helped CSKA maintain their lead at the top of the league table. CSKA have 20 points from eight matches and Musa has scored five goals in these matches.

Obinna Nsofor was an unused substitute for Locomotiv Moscow as they beat Kuban Krasnodar 1-0 at home on Sunday. Former U-23 defender Dele Adeleye sat out the 90 minutes for Anzhi Makhachkala away to Tom Tomsk who held them to a 2-2 draw. Adeleye just signed for Anzhi and is yet to make his debut.


Michael Babatunde scored his first league goal for Volyn after his transfer from Kryvbas but they were still beaten 2-1 by Arsenal Kyiv on Saturday. Babatunde opened the scoring in the 36th minute but the homers came back with two goals in a minute in the second half to snatch all three points.

Dominic Adiyiah scored Arsenal Kyiv’s second goal in the 53rd minute after Artem Kravets had restored parity for the home side in the 52nd minute. Babatunde was substituted in the 61st minute.

Brown Ideye  and Haruna Lukman both started Dynamo Kiev’s match away to Metalist on the bench as Kiev lost 3-0. Haruna came on for Roman Bezus in the 71st minute while Ideye replaced Miguel Veloso in the 79th.

Metalist scored two goals in second half added time to maintain their lead on the table with 23 points from nine matches while Dynamo are floundering in sixth position with 14 points.


John Utaka scored his first goal for Sivasspor as they held on to beat Eskişehirspor 3-2 on Sunday. Utaka equalized for the home side in the ninth minute after Diomansy Kamara had given the visitors the lead in the seventh minute. Utaka was substituted at the beginning of the second half.

Taye Taiwo and his Bursaspor side were walloped 3-0 at home by Besiktas on Sunday but Michael Eneramo was missing for the visitors.

Isaac Promise helped Antalyaspor hold champions, Galatasaray to a 1-1 draw on Friday at the Turk Telekom Arena in Istanbul. Promise played all 90 minutes and is yet to open his goal scoring account this season.

Godfrey Oboabona was an unused substitute for Rizespor as they won away from home 5-2 against Gaziantepspor on Saturday while Uche Kalu was not listed for the encounter.

Emmanuel Emenike and Fenerbahce are away to Kasimpasa on Monday where the Nigerian will try to score his first goal on his return to the Yellow Canaries.


Nosa Igiebor came on as a substitute for Real Betis as they got their first win in the new season. Igiebor who played for Nigeria last weekend against Malawi and also last Tuesday in Kaduna against Burkina Faso came on in the 85th minute for Salva Sevilla and could have scored a wonderful solo goal a minute afterwards but for his team mate, Jorge Molina who inexplicably blocked his path to goal. This was the first match in the new season that the Nigerian has not started and played 90 minutes.

Ikechukwu Uche came on for Villarreal on Saturday as the Yellow Submarine forced Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw. Uche came on for Jonathan Pereira in the 65th minute but could not help the newly promoted side get a winner. Uche has scored one league goal this season.

Former U-17 captai, Ramon Azeez was an unused substitute for Almeria on Saturday as they lost 4-2 away to Atletico Madrid. Azeez has played 17 minutes this season and it was at home to Elche on August 30.

Odion Ighalo marked his first match for Granada this season with a red card. The player on loan from Udinese collected two yellow cards in the space of one minute to leave Granada with 10 men with eight minutes remaining in the encounter. Ighalo had come on for Dani Benitez in the 66th minute.


Ogenyi Onazi started his first Serie A match for Lazio and helped the Biancocelesti to a 3-0 win over Chievo on Sunday. The defensive midfielder played for the Super Eagles against Malawi last Saturday and also played against Burkina Faso last Tuesday. Onazi had 88% pass accuracy from 65 touches on the ball and committed two fouls.

He also attempted two shots while successfully completing three tackles. Onazi also assisted the third Lazio goal by Senad Lulic in the 41st minute.

Onazi had a shot blocked in the 71st minute while Chievo goalkeeper, Christian Puggioni prevented the Nigerian’s right-footed shot from scoring in the 76th minute.


Obafemi Martins scored his eighth league goal for Seattle Sounders as they beat Real Salt Lake to go top of the Western Conference table with 49 points from 27 games. Martins, who just returned from a knee injury scored in the third minute to take his goals tally to eight in 17 games and he played all 90 minutes.


Former U-21 captain, Abdul-Jeleel Ajagun scored his first goal on his debut for Panathinaikos and helped the former champions salvage a 1-1 draw away to Platanias at the Dimotiko Stadio Perivolion on Sunday. Ajagun scored in the 82nd minute to cap a memorable debut after coming on for Zeca in the 71st minute.

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