After a weekend of scintillating European club football involving several Super Eagles stars, another four Nigerians took to the Medical Park Stadium pitch to fight for the honours of their Turkish sides
Anthony Nnaduzor Nwakaeme delivered a man-of-the-match performance to inspire Trabzonspor to a 2-1 victory over Sivasspor at the Medical Park Stadium in Trabzon on Monday evening.
Four Nigerians featured in that encounter, with the defeated side parading three, two of which made the starting eleven.
Trabzonspor deployed Anthony Nwakaeme on the right side of a three-pronged attack with ex-Arsenal forward Gervinho and Djanini Tvaris.
One of the Black Sea Storms’ best players, Nwakaeme, scored in his side’s 1-5 away thrashing of Yeni Malatyaspor last week.
Spotting jersey number 24, Okechukwu Azubuike, on loan from Istanbul Basaksehir, was in the midfield for Sivasspor with compatriot Olanrewaju Kayode spearheading the visitors’ attack.
Forward Leke James started on the bench for Riza Calimbay’s men.
Fresh from a commanding away victory on the opening day of the league season, Trabzonspor were the livelier of the two sides for the most part on Monday.
And it was a deserved lead when Anastasios Bakasetas opened the scoring from the penalty spot after just 15 minutes.
But there was more to come.
Nwakaeme scored only seven goals in 34 games last term – the first time in his four-year stay in Turkey that he won’t hit double figures of goals. But the 32-year-old attacker, who has not added to his single Super Eagles cap earned in 2017, looks poised to improve on that stat.
Moments after the resumption of the second period, Nwakaeme doubled Trabzonspor’s advantage, his second goal in as many matches this season for Abdallah Avci’s men.
Already on a yellow card, Azubuike was hauled off in the 54th-minute only for his replacement, Isaac Cofie, to reduce the deficit for the Braves 16 minutes later.
Leke James entered the fray in the 78th-minute, moments after the home side’s technical crew withdrew Nwakaeme. But the visitors could not muster an equaliser as Nwakaeme’s effort proved to be the winning strike for Trabzonspor.