It turned out to be a goals-feast weekend for Nigerian players across Europe, as five forwards from the West African nation netted in various games for their respective clubs, megasportsarena.com reports.
While SSC Napoli of Italy striker, Victor Osimhen and Simeon Tochukwu Nwankwo (Simy) of Crotone netted in the same Italian Serie A match, Victor Moses returned with a bang for Spartak Moscow of Russia and Ike Ugbo continued his majestic form at Cercle Brugge of Belgium.
In Russia, Moses helped Spartak snatch a 3-2 win away to Rostov under pouring rain with the winger on loan from Chelsea of England scoring one of the goals on his return to the starting 11 for his Moscow-based side.
In netting his third goal of the season, and his second in three games, the former Super Eagles’ star hit target on 23 minutes, when he let fly from outside the box past the Rostov goalkeeper at the near post.
The 30-year-old Moses has now scored three goals in 13 league appearances, while Spartak are now just a point behind of table-topping Zenit Saint Petersburg with 47 points from 24 matches.
In Italy, another goal from ‘Simy’ was not enough to save Crotone from defeat, as the relegation threatened side fell 4-3 to Napoli, who got a goal from Osimhen, as the Naples-based side’s costliest signing ever scored in the 22nd minute to make it 2-0 for the hosts.
Osimhen’s fourth goal this season in the Serie A was, however, out twinkled on a personal level by a brace from ‘Simy,’ who struck in the 25th and 48th minutes for his 14th and 15th goals of the season, but Crotone remain bottom of the standings, while Napoli are now up to fourth.
In Belgium, Ugbo continued his fine run when he scored his 14th goal of the season and helped Cercle Brugge climb out of relegation zone with a 2-1 win over beat Beerschot, with the lad on loan from Chelsea scoring the winning goal in the 34th minute when he tucked away a penalty.
Ugbo, who joined The Green and Black from Chelsea for his fifth loan spell outside Stamford Bridge last summer, scored while former under-23 national team, Olympic Eagles’ invitee, Blessing Eleke was in action as Cercle Brugge secured a 2-1 victory over Beerschot in Sunday’s Belgian First Division A game.
The 22-year-old has been delivering impressive showings since his arrival and at Jan Breydel Stadion, he was afforded his 30th league appearance and seized the opportunity to score his 14th goal of the season.
Eleke was handed his 17th league appearance and gave a good account of himself, although he could not help the Purple White Army avoid defeat.
Cercle started the game impressively, scoring as early as the 18th minute through Giulian Biancone after he was set up by David Bates, after which Ugbo doubled the lead in the 34th minute, converting his effort from the penalty spot.
Ugbo was on for for 76 minutes before making way for Kevin Denkey, completed one dribble and had 30 touches on the ball, while Eleke played for nine minutes in the encounter after replacing Tom Pietermaat and had a 100 percent successful pass rate.
Ugbo, who has an option to join the Belgian club on a permanent deal at the end of the season, has been in mercurial form this season and his latest effort took Cercle Brugge to 32 points from as many matches, but they still lie just a point outside relegation zone.
In Scotland, Calvin Bassey starred for Glasgow Rangers on an evening The Gers set up a date with Old Firm rivals, Celtic in the Scottish Cup, as Steven Gerrard’s team learned before facing Paul Hartley’s League One part-timers, Cove Rangers that they would host The Hoops in the last 16.
That was all the inspiration the recently-crowned Scottish Premiership champions needed as a Kemar Roofe brace plus strikes from Jermain Defoe and Nathan Patterson all before half-time saw them cruise to a 4-0 triumph.
Complacency robbed the Light Blues of the chance to make this year’s Betfred Cup the first trophy of the Gerrard reign as they were stunned by St Mirren back in December, but there was little chance of a repeat of their only domestic slip-up even as Gerrard made seven changes to the team which drew 1-1 with Celtic a fortnight ago.
Patterson and Bassey started in the full-back slots after Gers appealed their four-game bans for breaching lockdown rules while Scott Wright came in for his first start since joining in January and they will now host The Hoops in the first of two clashes at Ibrox in the space of a fortnight over the weekend of April 17-18.
Bassey will hope to star alongside Leon Aderemi Balogun and Joe Aribo in the upcoming encounter, from which the winner will go on to stage a quarter-final clash against St Johnstone or Clyde.