The two Nigerian stars started from the bench but were introduced after the break as the Garnets began their top-flight campaign with a defeat
Super Eagles star Simy Nwankwo and compatriot Joel Chukwuma Obi were second-half substitutes as US Salernitana 1919 fell to a 3-2 defeat in a thrilling clash at Bologna on the opening weekend of the Italian Serie A.
A feisty encounter at the Stadio Renato Dell’Ara saw both sides reduced to ten men inside the opening 50 minutes after the referee sent off Salernitana’s Stefan Strandberg in the first half and Bologna’s Roberto Soriano shortly after the interval.
Two quick goals followed afterwards as Lorenzo De Silvestri’s 59th-minute effort cancelled out Federico Bonazzoli’s opener for the visitors from the penalty spot seven minutes earlier.
Simy made it off the bench just past the hour-mark moments before Coulibaly put Salernitana back in front.
In what could turn out to be the match of the weekend, Marko Arnautovic and Silvestri fired two goals in two minutes to hand the advantage back to Bologna.
Joel Obi joined the action in the 82nd minute but even the former Inter Milan man could not conjure the needed magic to pull the Garnets back on levelled terms.
Ex-Nigerian youth international Kingsley Michael did not make it off the bench for the home side, who were even reduced to nine men following the dismissal of Jerdy Schouten in the closing stages.
Simy scored 20 league goals last term that were not enough to help Crotone avoid relegation. The former Portimonense striker will hope his new side can muster enough points to avoid suffering a similar fate.