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Too Good, Too Bad: The Best & Worst of Nigerians Abroad

14:19 GMT+3 18/02/2019
Samuel Eduok Kasimpasa 01192018
Goal review the nation’s best performers around the world this weekend, and pick out a few who must improve

  • William Troost-Ekong - Parma vs Udinese, Serie A, August 19

    #6 Too Good: William Troost-Ekong

    Having gone four league games without winning before the visit of ChievoVerona, Udinese knew securing maximum points against the division’s bottom club was necessary in their own fight to beat the drop.

    The Little Zebras secured a 1-0 win, but they had to work really hard for it. The brave visitors had them pinned back for most of the game and Davide Nicola required an amazing rearguard action by his team to seal the win.

    Troost-Ekong played a major part too, evidenced by the sheer number of clearances made to relieve the pressure on his side, as well as timely blocks to prevent shots from testing the busy Juan Musso in goal. Following the important win, the Udine-based club moved to 15th in the table, but they aren’t out of the woods just yet!

  • Semi Ajayi - Rotherham United

    #5 Too Bad: Semi Ajayi

    Three successive draws before Saturday’s meeting with Sheffield Wednesday meant Rotherham United needed a victory if they wanted to escape the dropzone. Unfortunately, the Millers were to concede an equalizer deep into second-half stoppage time as it ended 2-2.

    It wasn’t the best displays by Ajayi, who struggled in central midfield. The makeshift midfielder could only complete three passes all afternoon (21 percent of his attempts) and constantly lost out whenever he tried to win back possession for his side.

    The stalemate was disappointing for Paul Warne given his side were set to leapfrog Reading – who were thrashed 4-0 by Sheffield United – and move out of the relegation places. However, their 14th draw of the campaign, the joint-highest of any Championship side, sees them stuck in the bottom three after gameweek 33.

  • Ola Aina

    #4 Too Good: Ola Aina

    Torino weren’t much fancied before a trip to play Napoli at the Estadio San Paolo owing to the strength of Carlo Ancelotti’s side on home turf. Before Sunday night’s meeting, the Blues had picked up five wins on the bounce and were level with leaders Juventus for home points accrued this season.

    So it was something of a shock to see Walter Mazzarri’s team play out to a goalless draw in Naples. Aina was deployed at left wing-back and gave as good as he got all evening. While a little bit of composure in the final third should have resulted in him recording a late assist to probably stun the second-placed hosts, the loanee’s effort and industry all game helped in claiming the crucial point.

    The wideman’s recovery pace was crucial in stopping so many crosses from making their way into the box, and he made vital interceptions over the course of the game.

    Given Atalanta were beaten 3-1 by AC Milan the previous night, the draw counts as a point gained for Mazzarri’s side, who now sit in ninth with 35 points, only three behind the Black and Blues in sixth.  

  • Tammy Abraham Aston Villa

    #3 Too Bad: Tammy Abraham

    Aston Villa’s playoff hopes hinged on not dropping crucial points between now and the end of the season. Especially against a West Bromwich Albion side that were equally top six hopefuls, the Villans needed a positive result if they were to retain realistic hopes of ending in the playoff spots.

    Unfortunately, they lost 2-0 at Villa Park and the defeat sees them sat nine points behind Bristol City in sixth having played a couple of games more. It wasn’t the best of outings for Abraham, who largely cut a peripheral figure for the entirety of the game.

    Nonetheless, the towering forward did miss a glorious opportunity to score for the home side which might have changed the whole complexion of the contest.

    The defeat sees Dean Smith's side now facing the unwanted prospect of watching their season peter out if results don’t improve pronto.

  • Samuel Eduok Kasimpasa

    #2 Too Good: Samuel Eduok

    The statistics weren’t in BB Erzurumspor’s favour before their encounter with mid-placed Sivasspor at the weekend: the second-bottom side were winless in eight fixtures and hadn’t won since late-November. By contrast, their visitors had picked up successive wins and a routine third victory on the spin was expected.

    However, Eduok had other ideas, as his pair of goals helped the struggling hosts to an unforeseen 4-2 success. The timing of both goals added to their importance as well: the first on the half-hour mark sent his side 2-1 up, while the second on the hour mark put them 3-2 ahead.

    It was only his third appearance for the Erzurum-based club since his January move, and maybe the wideman could spark a late-season revival in the relegation-threatened side’s fight to beat the drop – they sit in 17th spot with 21 points, three short of safety.

  • Kenneth Omeruo Leganes

    #1 Too Bad: Kenneth Omeruo

    Having picked up 10 points from a possible 15 prior to facing Real Sociedad, Leganes were at least expected to compete at the Anoeta.

    However, in truly shocking fashion, the Cucumber Growers collapsed to lose 3-0. Omeruo, who’s been in good form lately, was atrocious on the day and turned in a poor performance. While there wasn’t decent protection given to the defence, they still allowed an inordinate number of shots at goal – with many coming from inside the box.

    The defender’s passing was equally poor and it resulted in him giving away possession to the hosts time and again.

    Mauricio Pellegrino’s charges may have dropped a place to 12th in the standings, but with 29 points on the board, they sit a comfortable six points away from danger.