Six matches in total took place across England on Saturday in round 12 of this year’s Premiership. Two teams won at home, one away and there were three draws. Ahead of the AFCON 2019 qualifier against South Africa next Friday, a number of Nigerian internationals and those of Nigerian descent played for their respective teams.
At the Cardiff City Stadium, the home side welcomed Brighton who looked to bounce back from two straight losses. However, it wasn’t to be and Cardiff recorded only their second win in the Premiership this season. The final score was 2:1. Brighton took an early lead through a Lewis Dunk strike. Cardiff fought back and equalized in the 28th minute. Callum Peterson was the scorer. A few minutes later, Dale Stephens was sent off and Brighton were suddenly down to 10 men. Leon Balogun, the Nigerian centre-back, was on the bench again and didn’t get a chance to help his teammates. However, they defended bravely a man down until the last minute of the match when Sol Bamba managed to snatch the victory for Cardiff.
After beating fellow strugglers Fulham in the last round, Huddersfield Town were confident ahead of the clash with West Ham who were coming in on a two-game unbeaten run. The Terriers did take the lead in the 6th minute through Alex Pritchard. But the Londoners fought back and Felipe Anderson provided an equalizer for West Ham. The 1:1 score stayed until the final whistle. Philip Billing played the full 90 minutes for Huddersfield.
Leicester City welcomed Burnley at the King Power Stadium. The Super Eagles midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi was in it from the start and played the full 90 minutes. He did well in his defensive duties but had a few shots at goal as well, which were saved by the Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart. Kelechi Iheanacho came in from the bench in the 60th minute, but couldn’t score. He got himself booked in the 76th minute after chasing a ball he managed to lose. The game finished in a goalless draw.
At St James’ Park, Newcastle won their second game in a row and their second win this season altogether against a fancied Bournemouth side. Salomon Rondon scored twice for the Magpies before Jefferson Lerma got one back for the Cherries. The score at halftime was 2:1 for Newcastle and it stayed like that until the end. Jordon Ibe played 82 minutes for Bournemouth before he was substituted by Jermaine Defoe.
Watford and Isaac Success Ajayi travelled to the south to play Southampton at the St. Mary’s stadium. The home side went ahead after 20 minutes with a goal from Manolo Gabbiadini. After the break, the Hornets attacked more and were rewarded in the 82nd minute when Jose Holebas managed to level the game for Watford. This would turn out to be the end result.