Former Super Eagles invitee Tobias Lawal found himself in a challenging position as his Austrian side, Lask, suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Liverpool in a Europa Group E opener at the Raiffeisen Arena.
The 23-year-old Austrian-born goalkeeper of Nigerian descent showcased his prowess early in the game, making crucial saves to keep Lask in contention after Florian Flecker gave them a 14th-minute lead.
Tobias Okiki Lawal stood rock solid in the goal for Lask throughout the first half, maintaining their 1-0 advantage as they entered the break.
However, Liverpool’s determination could not be denied, and they leveled the score with a well-converted spot kick by Darwin Nunez in the 56th minute. Lawal made an effort to get to the ball, but the Uruguayan’s strike proved too powerful for his gloves.
The comeback continued for Liverpool as Luis Diaz and substitute Mohamed Salah sealed the 3-1 victory against Tobias Lawal’s Lask. While Lawal found himself unable to thwart these goals, he did manage to pull off two crucial saves including a point blank save during the game, helping keep the scoreline respectable.
Tobias Lawal, who has previously played for Austria’s underaged teams, remains eligible to represent Nigeria through his father’s nationality. However, despite receiving an invitation in September 2020, he is yet to receive another call-up to the Super Eagles.