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UEL/UECL Wrap: Uzoho, Boniface, Oyewusi impress for respective teams

14 Nigerians feature in Europe's second and third-tier competition

The group stage of the 2022-23 UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League has reached its latter stages, and Matchday Four has been concluded. A total of 14 Nigerian players featured for their clubs on the Matchday.

Super Eagles goalkeeper Francis Uzoho delivered the performance of his life as his Omonia Nicosia side lost 1-0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford. A boyhood Red Devils fan, Uzoho was outstanding as he made 12 saves in the match as he restricted the home side to only one goal that came in added time. He was one short of equalling the competition’s record of 13 saves in a match. Uzoho was drafted in as a replacement for first-choice goalkeeper Fabiano after he picked up an injury.

Victor Boniface scored twice for Union Saint-Gilloise in their 3-3 draw at home to SC Braga. The former Bodo Glimt forward equalised for his side after 20 minutes to make it 1-1 before scoring another equaliser in the 62nd minute to earn his side a 3-3 draw. He was substituted off in the 90th minute of the clash.

Kehinde Oyewusi was impressive as his Zalgiris Vilnius side claimed a 2-1 win over Pyunik in Lithuania. Oyewusi assisted both goals for his side before he was withdrawn after 82 minutes. Yusuf Otubanjo also featured for Pyunik and lasted 65 minutes before he was taken off by the Armenian side.

Victor Oluyemi Olatunji featured for AEK Larnaca as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to Turkish giants Fenerbahce. Olatunji played the final 15 minutes of the clash after he was introduced in the 75th minute. Bright Osayi-Samuel was also introduced off the bench by the Turkish side in the 70th minute of the encounter.

Akanbi Rasheed was on the pitch for 80 minutes as FC Sheriff were soundly beaten 3-0 by Real Sociedad in their Europa League clash in Spain.

Moses Simon had a match to forget for FC Nantes as they fell to a 4-0 defeat at home to Freiburg. The Super Eagles winger scored an own goal before he was withdrawn from the match after 73 minutes.

Former Super Eagles midfielder Anderson Esiti featured as a late substitute for Ferencvaros in their 2-1 win over Crvena Zvezda. He was introduced into the match after 81 minutes as his side looked to grind out the win.

Samuel Chukwueze was on the pitch for 68 minutes as Villarreal defeated Austria Wien 1-0 to maintain their 100% record in the Europa Conference League. The winger had a quiet game before he was withdrawn from the fray.

Ezekiel Henty featured as Apollon Limassol defeated AZ Alkmaar 1-0. The forward was summoned off the bench in the 64th minute of the clash.

The Nigerian trio of Peter Olayinka, Moses Usor and Collins Yira Sor started for Slavia Prague in their 2-0 defeat in Romania at the hands of CFR Cluj. Olayinka played for the entirety of the match while Usor was substituted after 86 minutes. Sor lasted only 59 minutes before he was withdrawn from action.

Ishaq AbdulRazak was left on the bench for the entire fixture as Anderlecht fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of West Ham United in London.

Former Super Eagles midfielder Rabiu Ibrahim also watched on from the bench as his Slovan Bratislava side played out an entertaining 3-3 draw against FC Basel.

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