A handful of less-popular Nigerian players rained goals one-by-the-dozen this past weekend, as David Chidozie Okereke returned to hitting target with Club Brugge of Belgium, Leke James was on song in Norway, Attah Kadiri made hay in Sweden and Dominic Solanke got two in England, megasportsarena.com gathered.
In Belgium, Okereke scored twice to help Brugge thump KV Mechelen 6-0 in a pre-season game, as the youngster, who cost eight million Euros in his transfer last season from Spezia of Italy got back the form that saw him finish as his club’s top scorer in the previous campaign.
In Norway, Leke James notched his third goal of the season for Molde and the lad, who scored 15 goals last season, helped the champions defeat Haugesund 3-0, as he hit target in the 78th minute; but his future with the club remains uncertain, after his contract ended on July 1.
In Sweden, Kadiri was the hero again for Ostersunds SK, as he got the only goal in their 1-0 win away at Falkenbergs, which was also a return to scoring form, as the former Nasarawa United of Lafia attacker failed to find the net in his previous two games.
He, however, hit bull’s eye in the visitors’ seventh league game, with the hosts also naming John Chibuike in their starting 11, with both sides going toe-to-toe, until a corner kick into the box got to Kadiri and he reacted quickest to head home for the win, after which the 20-year-old lad was replaced five minutes to the end of his relegation threatened side’s second win of the campaign.
In Latvia, Tolu Arokodare scored his fourth consecutive goal for Valmeria, Nnamdi Offor was also on target for Daugava, while Aliyu Adam started for Spartaks in a goalless draw at home against the visiting FK Tukums.
Adam made way in the 74th minute for compatriot, Lucky Okpara, but both midfielders failed to create any tell tale impact in the game, as the hosts missed the chance to move to third on the log; but Tolu Arokodare continued his heroics when he scored for the fourth straight game and helped Valmiera claim a 1-0 win away to FK Liepaja.
Olaide Badmus helped the visitors get a hard-fought away win, in which Richard Emeka Friday was introduced for the hosts just before the hour mark, but he could not save the day for his team; while Nnamdi Offor and Idowu Akintola were both on from start to finish for BFC Daugava Daugavpils, but their team threw away a two-goal lead to fall 3-2 to visiting Rigas Futbola.
In England, Alex Iwobi played as a 56th minute substitute for Theo Walcott on Sunday, but the Super Eagles’ playmaker failed to save the day for Everton, as The Toffees crumbled 3-0 away to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Iwobi paid the price for his not too convincing performances since the season restarted with the coach, Carlo Ancelotti dropping him to the bench for the first time in six matches and the Eagles’ star only entered the pitch as a substitute to replace his former Arsenal teammate, Walcott.
It was Iwobi’s 124th EPL appearance since making his debut, something which his uncle, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha achieved in his final game with Bolton Wanderers on May 7, 2006, but Everton’s European hopes suffered a major blow after they lost 3-0.
Same evening in England, Tottenham Hotspur went above Arsenal after beating The Gunners 2-1 in their first visit to the new stadium, where Bukayo Saka was surprisingly not in the starting 11 of the visitors.
Saka later got off Arsenal’s bench to replace Nicolas Pepe with 20 minutes remaining and with both teams tied at 1-1, but Belgian center back, Toby Alderweireld headed home a corner nine minutes to the final whistle and won the game for Jose Mourinho’s team.
Lastly on Sunday in England, Solanke struck twice to hand Bournemouth revived hope in their battle against relegation, after coming from behind to beat visiting Leicester City 4-1 at Vitality Stadium.
Jamie Vardy’s 23rd minute effort had put Leicester ahead, but Kasper Schmeichel’s poor goal-kick was the start of Leicester’s downfall and Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi then brought down Callum Wilson in the penalty area before Junior Stanislas converted from the spot in the 66th.
A minute later, things went from bad to worse for the visitors as Solanke’s shot crept into the back of the net, before Caglar Soyuncu received a straight red card for kicking out at Wilson when the striker attempted to retrieve the ball.
Bournemouth made the game safe inside the final 10 minutes as Jonny Evans’ own goal in the 83rd and Solanke’s second goal of the night four minutes later sealed the crucial three points for Eddie Howe’s side, who are now three points adrift of safety with three games left to play.