There were several Nigerians that featured for their clubs on Thursday night in the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League
This is Soccernet’s report of the exploits of Nigerian players that played on Thursday in the UEFA Conference League and Europa League playoff games.
The Nigerian forward continued with his outstanding form as he scored two and assisted one to help Union Berlin cruise to a 3-0 lead in the first half. The former Liverpool man was taken off in the 60th minute. Union Berlin beat Finnish side KuPS 4-0, which puts them in a comfortable position going into the second leg.
Shehu Abdullahi and Iyayi Atiemwen
Both players were involved in Omonia’s Europa League qualifiers against Antwerp. Shehu started from right-back and put in a good shift for his side, while Atiemwen came on as a 73rd-minute substitute.
He got a chance to get on the score sheet in the 83rd minute after The Queens were awarded a penalty. The 25-year-old didn’t take any prisoners as he buried the ball to give Omonia a 4-2 lead going into the second leg.
Yusuf Lawal was the hero for his Nefti Baku side as they drew 3-3 against Israeli side Maccabi Haifa at home. The forward helped his side score the equaliser in the 50th minute.
He scored again in the 66th minute to put his side in front. The 23-year-old then assisted Erin Makhmudov’s 72nd-minute goal.
However, it wasn’t to be for Lawal, as a late capitulation saw them surrender their two-goal lead. To stand a chance of qualifying for the group stages of the Europa Conference League, Neftci Baku have to beat Maccabi Haifa when they travel to Israel.
The Nigeria International was helpless as his side lost 2-1 to Jose Mourinho’s Roma in the Europa Conference League qualifiers.
The striker had been in scintillating form, scoring three times in four games. However, the potency of the big striker was neutralised, and Andreas Cornelius’ 68th-minute equaliser ended up being a consolation as Eldor Shomurodov scored in the 80th minute to help Roma to a 2-1 win.
Leke James and Olarenwaju Kayode
The two players were present in Sivasspor’s 2-1 loss to Copenhagen. Kayode and James played upfront, but only Leke got his name on the score sheet.
Leke equalised for Sivasspor in the 59th minute, four minutes after Kevin Diks put the away side in front.
However, their joy didn’t last for long as Jen Stage scored a minute later to give Copenhagen the upper hand going into the second leg of the Europa Conference League qualifiers.