Manchester United of England striker, Odion Jude Ighalo has again been confirmed as Nigeria’s biggest performer of the past weekend, as he has now been included in the English FA Cup best 11 players of the competition’s quarter-finals’ stage, megasportsarena.com reports.
On weekend Anthony Ujah returned to goals scoring form in Germany, while goals also came off the boots of Peter Utaka with Kyoto Sanga of Japan, Leke James netted one in Norway and Abah Samson Akoh notched a hat-trick to help Kultsu to victory in Norway, only Ighalo made it into a team of the week selection across all the leagues in Europe and Asia.
Ighalo’s nod came through statistics provided by Whoscored, on a weekend four other players of Nigerian descent also featured in the FA Cup; as Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi went the distance against Sheffield United and Chelsea respectively, Ross Barkley got off The Blues’ bench to get their single winning goal against The Foxes and Adam Idah played only the last two minutes for Norwich City in their 2-1 loss to United a day earlier.
In Japan, Peter Utaka opened his account for Kyoto Sanga, as the team he joined in January got a 2-0 win against Jubilo Iwata in a J-League 2 match, during which the Nigerian attacker first struck 28 minutes into the game, with a left-footed shot inside the box, after which he doubled the advantage with another poacher’s finish in the 47th minute.
In Finland, Abah Samson Akoh bagged a hat-trick to help Kultsu register a 4-3 win over PK Keski-Uusimaa in the Finnish Kakkonen, as the 21-year-old forward opened scoring after nine minutes, then hit his second in the 70th and sealed his treble seven minutes from time, while his Nigerian compatriot, Alexander Odeh got one for the same team in the 31st minute.
In Norway, Leke James made it two goals in as many games when he helped Molde keep their 100% record in the new campaign by beating Stabaek 4-1 at Aker Stadium, with the Nigerian ace making it 3-0 just before the hour mark, after which Ohi Omoijuanfo scored from the penalty spot in the 90th minute.
In Albania, former Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Ndubuisi Egbo continued his positive surge as KF Tirana coach, when his side came from one goal down to beat Skënderbeu Korce 2-1 at Stadiumi Skenderbeu in Korce, with Michael Ngoo netting a brace, first of which came when he equalised in the 71st minute, after which he then netted the winner six minutes later.
However, the standout Nigerian player of the weekend turned out to be Ighalo, who has now been named in the English FA Cup’s team of the quarter-finals, along with four of his teammates at Man United, being creative midfielder Bruno Fernandes, two fullbacks Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw as well as center back Harry Maguire.
Ighalo opened scoring in Sunday’s game against Norwich City with an instinctive looping effort five minutes into the second half and he was also involved in the build-up to the match-winning goal by Maguire, after which the former Super Eagles’ star was awarded 7.35 over 10 for his form.
During the match under review Ighalo equaled a 95 year record at United, as the Nigerian hitman, who has now scored in each of his four starts for The Red Devils, repeated a feat first set by Jimmy Hanson in 1925.
Stats also showed Ighalo got a shot on target, one off it, he won two aerial duels, won two fouls for his team and completed 68.4 percent of his passes; while he and Barkley are joint-top scorers left in this year’s competition, with three goals each, after they both netted on Sunday.