FC Nantes of France winger, Moses Simon hit headlines in Ligue 1 with a stunning goal and dramatic acrobat celebration, while Emmanuel Dennis Bonaventure continued his burst of goals with Club Brugge of Belgium, but Jamliu Collins failed to make it back-to-back sizzlers with SC Paderborn of Germany, as he missed a penalty, megasportsarena.com gathered.
In France, Simon continued his brilliant form with Nantes, as he stuck a crucial goal that helped the side move up to second on the French Ligue 1 log, with a 1-0 win over OGC Nice.
Coming off the back of two 1-0 wins, Nantes’ boss, Christian Gourcuff gave Simon his sixth start of the campaign and, though the 24-year-old was replaced later in the second half, he went off to a resounding ovation, as the home fans showed appreciation for his goal and his somersault theatrics while celebrating the game’s lone banger in either net.
Though the visitors dominated early proceedings, and Nantes were made to defend in large numbers as both teams went into the break goalless, Simon and his pals kept their cool.
The hosts then turned up the heat in the second half and deservedly got the breakthrough on the 88th minute when Simon, who is on loan from Levante of Spain, stayed onside to head home a fantastic cross from Kader Bamba to seal all three points for his side.
In Belgium, where Simon used to line out for KAA Gent, Bonaventure completed an amazing week when he scored his third league goal of the season to lead Brugge to an amazing 4-0 over Racing Genk.
Fresh from scoring a famous brace in the UEFA Champions League against Real Madrid on Tuesday, the 21-year-old Olympic Eagles youngster was handed his sixth Jupiler League start of the season as the hosts hoped to stretch their unbeaten run to nine games.
They took the lead on the 11th minute when captain of the side, Hans Vanaken scored to make it 1-0 before Krepin Diatta doubled their lead on 28 minutes with Brugge heading into the break with a comfortable 2-0 lead.
Bonaventure then increased his side’s tally six minutes into the second half when he dispossessed Igor Plastun of the ball before recovering from a near fall to fire home his third goal in the space of four days.
The Super Eagles’ rookie then made way for compatriot and fellow-under-3 national team attacker, David Chidozie Okereke before Mbaye Diagne completed the scoring with a cool finish on the dot of 90 minutes, to help Brugge stay top of the log with 23 points.
In Germany, Collins was left apologising to his club’s fans, after his missed penalty cost them a point at home against Taiwo Awoniyi’s SV Mainz on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Collins, who scored in a 3-2 loss against Bayern Munich the previous weekend in the German Bundesliga, has been a standout performer for the newly-promoted outfit this season, but he this time out had an unforgettable afternoon, as Paderborn suffered their sixth defeat of the campaign.
Ironically, before missing a the other end, Collins was also at fault for the penalty that put Mainz 2-1 up in the first half and, when he was presented with the opportunity to redeem himself, the left-back saw his effort saved by the goalkeeper to hand the visitors the win.
The former HNK Rijeka of Croatia defender will now turn his attention to Nigeria’s upcoming friendly against Brazil in Singapore, where he hopes to get his 13th senior cap, after which he pledged to redeem his image at Paderborn and make it up to their fans.
Collins told AOIFootball.com: “It’s unfortunate with the result of the match yesterday. I felt we played well and did not deserve to lose. The penalty miss was painful but it’s part of the game and I hope to bounce back from it.”