On Tuesday, December 11th, the first eight matches of Round six of the 2018/19 Champions League took place and a few players, either Nigerian or of Nigerian descent, were involved.
In the late afternoon kick-off, the Turkish side Galatasaray hosted the Portuguese team Porto at the Turk Telekom Arena. Henry Onyekuru, the Super Eagles striker, was on the bench for Galatasaray, as was Chidozie Awaziem for Porto.
Porto, the leaders of Group D, unexpectedly took the lead in the 17th minute through Felipe Augusto de Almeida Monteira but soon doubled it. Moussa Marega scored from a penalty in the 42nd minute. Just four minutes later Galatasaray got one back through a penalty kick of their own, converted by Sofiane Feghouli. The score at the break was 2:1 to the away team.
The home side made a change at the start of the second half, bringing Onyekuru in instead of Ryan Donk. But it didn’t change much, as Sérgio Oliveira added a third for Porto in the 57th minute. Galatasaray did press and scored their second goal eight minutes later, courtesy of Eren Derdiyok, but couldn’t change the outcome of the game which ended 3:2 for Porto. Awaziem came off the bench in the 81st minute, for his first appearance in the Champions League.
Porto were already through to the next phase of the competition before this match but this one put a stamp on it. Galatasaray are out after the group stage but will try to do better in the Europa League.
In the other match of Group D, Lokomotiv Moscow travelled to the Veltins Arena in Schalke, Germany. This was a tightly fought match-up, decided in the 91st minute. Alessandro Schöpf scored the winning goal for Schalke to confirm their second place in the group which takes them to the elimination rounds. Lokomotiv are out, ending the group stage at the bottom of the table. Brian Idowu, the Nigerian defender, was on the bench for the Russian side but never came in.
Club Brugge played out a goalless draw with Atletico Madrid at the Jan Breydel Stadium. Neither Arnaut Danjuma nor Dennis Bonaventure were in the Belgian team, probably rested as Brugge were already out of the competition, finishing third in the table in Group A. They will continue playing in the Europa League in the next round of the competition.
The second group of eight matches is scheduled for Wednesday. After they finish, the draw for the elimination phase od the competition will be held on Monday, December 17th.