Across Europe, after the League of Nations break, clubs continued their regular season matches. Several players with Nigerian descent played, but two Super Eagles stood out.
In Belgium, the bottom of the table Sporting Lokeren hosted the mid-table Charleroi. The home side was attacking from the kick-off and had some good chances which brought out good saves from the opponents’ goalkeeper. But they were soon rewarded when Guus Hupperts scored a fine goal in the 16th minute.
The celebrating didn’t last long though, with Charleroi equalizing in the 19th minute through Ali Gholizadeh. The game continued with both teams creating good chances. Hupperts even hit the post close to the end of the first half but it stayed 1:1 at the break.
Sporting Lokeren opened the second half strongly but couldn’t find the net. In the 57th minute, Charleroi punished them for their missed opportunities and scored, Cristian Benavente firing the rebounded ball past the keeper. Victor Osimhen, the Nigerian striker, came off the bench in the 70th minute for Adama Niane. And only 11 minutes, after coming on, he made an impact. He received a nice pass and slotted the ball into the Lokeren net to make the lead 3:1. This was his sixth goal in nine matches.
Lokeren players didn’t give up and made the final few minutes interesting after Bambo Diaby cut the away team’s lead to one goal. Lokeren attacked but Charleroi ensured the victory one minute into the stoppage time with a goal from Jérémy Perbet. The final score was 4:2 for Charleroi.
In what was also an evening kick-off, Villareal hosted Real Betis at the Estadio de la Ceramica. Samuel Chukwueze, who scored his first La Liga goal in the last match and since made his debut for the Super Eagles, was in the starting eleven for The Yellow Submarine.
After a goalless first half, in which Chukwueze had two goal chances but missed both, Villareal opened the scoring in the 52nd minute through Gerard Moreno. Only two minutes later, the Nigerian striker took a crafty pass from Santi Cazorla and placed the ball in the bottom left-hand corner past the Betis goalkeeper to give his team a 2:0 lead.
Real Betis scored a late goal in the 90th minute to make the last few minutes of the game interesting, but Villareal held on to end their seven-match run without a triumph. Chukwueze played the full 90 minutes for his team.