UEFA Europa League Review: Rasheed Ibrahim shines as Nigerians endure mixed fortunes

By Ossy Ugwu

FC Sheriff Tiraspol’s forward Rasheed Ibrahim was the country’s shining star of the night among Nigerian Players who featured for their various clubs in the opening games of the 2022/23 UEFA Europa League.

Ibrahim also known as goal machine opened the scoring within just two minutes of action and went on to assist compatriot Iyayi Atiemwen in FC Sheriff’s 3-0 win over Nigerian Francis Uzoho’s Omonia Nicosia.

Ibrahim is the top striker of the Moldovan champions, who are drawn in Group E with Manchester United and Real Sociedad which also parades another Nigerian Sadiq Umar, who recently joined from newly promoted Almeria.

Umar also gave a good account of himself but was substituted on the 46th minute mark before his side converted a penalty to earn a crucial 1-0 away win at Old Trafford and broke the hearts of the home fans.

Elsewhere, Nigerian striker Victor Olatunji of AEK Larnaca saw 80 minutes of action, but his presence was not enough to inspire his Cypriot club as they bowed 2-1 to Rennes of France on home soil.

While in Berlin, Victor Boniface was in action for 83 minutes as helped his Belgian side Union St. Gilloise pip host Union Berlin 1-0.

Also, forward Peter Olayinka registered his name on the scorer’s sheet in Slavia Prague’s 1-1 draw with 10-man Sivasspor in Thursday’s Uefa Europa Conference League.

The Nigeria international was named in the Czech outfit’s starting XI at the Sivas Stadium and he repaid Steffen Baumgart’s faith in him with a goal.

Same day, another Super Eagles winger Moses Simon was a 69th minute substitute when his French side Nantes got a vital 2-1 victory at home against Olympiacos of Greece.

Meanwhile, Arsenal put away their disappoment from last weekend 2-1 loss at Old Trafford, as the table toppers of the English Premier League defeated FC Zurich 2-1 to bounce back to winning ways.

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