The 24-year-old defender was in action for The Dragons in their Champions League clash against Diego Simeone’s men
Super Eagles left-back Zaidu Sanusi made his sixth consecutive appearance in this season’s Champions League, but the night ended on a disappointing note as Porto missed the chance to qualify for the round of 16 following a 3-1 loss to Atletico Madrid at the Estádio do Dragão.
Porto went into the game knowing a win or a draw, should AC Milan fail to beat Liverpool in the other group game, would secure their spot in the second round.
The Dragons coach Sérgio Conceição sent out a strong lineup, with Sanusi starting at left-back ahead of Brazilian full-back Wendell.
But it was not the best performance from the Nigerian international, who lost possession 19 times and failed to offer anything offensively before he was taken off for Wendel in the 63rd minute.
Porto started on the front foot, though, and should have taken the lead in the first half, but they were wasteful in front of goal.
The second half resumed in a similar fashion, but the Portuguese side were denied by Jan Oblak on a couple of occasions.
Porto would later rue the missed chances as Antoine Griezmann put Atletico ahead before Angel Correa and Rodrigo De Paul scored two late goals to secure a win for Simeone’s men.
However, the home side did get a consolation through Sérgio Oliveira’s penalty in the third minute of added time.
But it was too late to spark a miraculous comeback. Porto will now have to drop into the Europa League while the Rojiblancos can look forward to the round of 16 draws.
Meanwhile, Porto’s exit means there could be no Nigerian representative when the second round of this year’s competition kicks off in February.
The Super Eagles had just three players in this year’s Champions League group stages, but neither will get to play in the knockout stages.
Sanusi’s Porto will have to play in the Europa League when European competitions resume in February, while Innocent Bonke’s Malmo could not make it past a group that had Chelsea, Juventus and Zenith St Petersburg.
Although Samuel Chukwueze’s Villarreal currently sit in second place in their group, they need to avoid defeat in their final match at Atalanta to seal progress.
What about Chukwueze???