Nigerians in Europe midweek report: Osimhen, Moffi, Boniface, Orban all crash out
It was a tough week for Nigeria’s stars in Europe as they all failed to progress to the semifinals in all three of Europe’s club tournaments after showing promise in their respective first legs.
For the returning Victor Osimhen, it was a case of too little, too late as the Super Eagles star failed to inspire Napoli to a first-ever UEFA Champions League semifinal place. The 24-year-old scored a late leveller for the Partenopei as they laboured to a 1-1 draw at home to AC Milan. The red-hot striker took his tally for the season to five in six Champions League matches and 26 in 31 games across all competitions. Having lost the first leg 1-0, the Neapolitan club crashed out 2-1 on aggregate.
UEFA Europa League top scorer Victor Boniface could not add to his six goals in the competition as Union Saint-Gilloise crashed out following a 4-1 humbling at home at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen. The 22-year-old striker, who scored his side’s only goal in a 1-1 draw in the first leg, was on the pitch for 81 minutes but failed to register a goal. His best chance came in the 67th minute when a cross found him at the back post, only for him to mistime his attempt and collide with the post instead. The Belgian side crashed out by a 5-2 aggregate scoreline.
KAA Gent sensation Gift Orban was in action for 70 minutes as his side squandered a 1-0 lead in London to lose 4-1 in their UEFA Europa Conference League quarterfinal second leg. The 20-year-old failed to influence the game and received a yellow card for his troubles as he watched his side crash out 5-2 on aggregate against West Ham United.
Following his heroics last week, Terem Moffi was rather quiet as OGC Nice succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at home to FC Basel in the UEFA Europa Conference League. The striker led the line for his side, who were in possession of a 1-0 lead following an early Gaetan Laborde strike, until his substitution after 73 minutes. The visitors scored a late equaliser to send the game to extra-time, before scoring the winner in the first period of extra time.