Nigerians Abroad: Ighalo scores against Barcelona, Anichebe scores against Oldham and Nwofor helps Venlo to a rare away win

There was a rush of goals from Nigerian strikers all across Europe last weekend as they revel in the new title of African champions and bid to compete for places in Keshi's squad

Victor Anichebe dragged Everton back into their FA Cup tie away against Oldham Athletic on Saturday. Anichebe equalised for Everton in the 24th minute as they resisted the fate that befell their Anfield neighbours, Liverpool at giant-killing Oldham . It was Anichebe’s first FA Cup goal of the season but the Nigerian striker was replaced in the 46th minute by Kevin Mirallas. If Everton successfully negotiates the replay, they will face Wigan at home.

Danny Shittu was not listed for Millwall in the 3-0 win over non-league Luton Town. Millwall will face Blackburn Rovers, another Championship side in the FA Cup quarter final with a decent chance of getting to the semi-final of the oldest club competition in the world.

Victor Moses was named in Chelsea’s line-up for the first time after his Africa Cup of Nations exertions and heroics while Mikel Obi was still missing. Moses was replaced in the 65th minute by Eden Hazard as Chelsea romped to a 4-0 win over League One side Brentford. Their fifth round opponents will be Middlesbrough and if they win, they will have Manchester United waiting in the quarter final, a tie to be played at Old Trafford.


Much criticised Nigeria defender Efe Ambrose got back in the positive news section when he scored for Celtic against Dundee United on Saturday.

Ambrose equalised for the league leaders in the 11th minute to lead his team to a 6-2 annihilation of their opponents. The Super Eagles right back scored with a header to pull his side level.

Ambrose had been the butt of a lot of criticisms after an unimpressive performance against Juventus in the Uefa Champions League last Tuesday even though he only arrived in Glasgow from South Africa on the morning of that match.

Odion Ighalo scored for the second week running when he opened scores for Granada against Barcelona in the 25th minute of the encounter at Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes on Saturday.

Ighalo had 79% pass accuracy from 31 touches, committed one foul and had three successful dribbles. He also won two tackles as Granada tried to impose themselves on the league but the 300th and 301st Lionel Messi goals were enough to see the homers lose

Obafemi Martins played all 90 minutes for Levante in their 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad. He did not add to his seven league goals in 17 league matches though he scored for his side in the Uefa Europa League last Thursday against Olympiacos

Montpellier won 1-0 on Saturday courtesy of a 34th minute goal by Emanuel Herrera. John Utaka played all 90 minutes for Ligue 1’s defending champions at the Stade de la Mosson.

The defending champions are aiming to claw their way back into the European places after an indifferent start to the league campaign. They sit in eighth position after 25 rounds of matches.

Rennes lost 2-0 to Lille on Friday with Onyekachi Apamon the bench for the second successive week.

Uche Nwofor followed up on last week’s goal by scoring another against NEC Brada to help his relegation-threatened team to a rare 2-1 away win.

Nwofor scored against Heerenveen last week to help Venlo to an away draw and scored in the 11th minute to bring Venlo level. The away team then scored in the 72nd minute through Brian Linssen to take all three points and take Venlo to 19 points from 23 matches though they are still second from bottom of the table in the 18-team league.

Nwofor has now scored six goals in 19 matches and is the club’s joint top scorer with Linssen, who has also scored six goals but in 23 games.

Imoh Ezekiel is back on the goals sheet as he helped Standard Liege to an away 1-0 victory over Cercle Brugge on Saturday at the Jan Breydelstadion.

Ezekiel returned from an injury spell last week and was quickly back in scoring mode when he nicked the only goal of the encounter in the 16th minute. The 19 year-old former 36 Lions striker was replaced in the 87th minute of the encounter by George Tucudean. Ezekiel has now scored 13 goals in 21 matches and lies fifth in the goal scoring chart – five goals behind Carlos Bacca of Club Brugge.

Standard Liege with that victory are now up to fourth on the table and will play Genk next Sunday with three matches of the first phase of the league to go.

Derick Ogbu was on for all 90 minutes in OH Leuven’s 1-1 draw at home with Beerschot who had Kennedy Nwanganga on for 59 minutes before he was replaced by Benito Raman who equalised for Beerschot in the 78th minute to take a share of the spoils.

The 22-year old Nwanganga has played four times this season with no goals while Ogbu has played 27 league games and scored six times.


Joseph Yobo was not in the Fenerbahce team that beat Trabzonspor 3-0 away on Sunday. The Super Eagles captain was not listed at all for the match.

Raheem Lawal started his second game for Mersin Idmanyurdu on the substitute’s bench and came on for Ivan in the 62nd minute in their 3-1 away loss to Genclerbirligi on Saturday.

Former junior international, Nduka Ozokwo started and played all 90 minutes for Mersin while former Eagles striker, Ekigho Ehiosun was an unused substitute for Genclerbirligi. Ozokwo has scored a goal and has been cautioned four times in 19 league appearances.

Ehiosun has started six matches and been a substitute in one match with no goals to show. The former Warri Wolves striker seems to have lost his way after having a brilliant season with Samsunspor for whom he scored nine goals last season.

Kalu Uche will be in action for Kasimpasa against Michael Eneramo’s Sivasspor on Monday.


Sidney Sam started for Bayer Leverkusen for the first time after the winter break to help his team record a 2-1 victory over Augsburg at the Bay Arena on Saturday.

Sam with five league goals was replaced by Simon Rolfes in the 37th minute as the former German youth international hobbled off. The winger who has signified his intention to switch allegiance to Nigeria has been bedevilled with a lot of injuries in the 2012/13 season and has played only 11 league games.

Chinedu Obasi was missing for out of form Schalke 04 in their 2-2 draw away to Mainz 05 on Saturday. Obasi has played only three league games this season with no goals in his kitty.

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