African Players in Europe: Odemwingie maintains hot scoring streak

Tuesday 1 April 2014

/ by Colin Udoh

Nigerian Peter Odemwingie scored his third goal in as many matches to give Stoke City a 1-0 English Premier League victory over Hull City at the weekend.

Compatriot Chinedu Obasi contributed a goal and an assist as third-place Schalke triumphed 2-0 against Hertha Berlin in the German Bundesliga.

There were plenty of African goals in the French Ligue 1, including a stoppage-time winner from Ivorian Salomon Kalou for Lille.


Former West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City forward Odemwingie struck in the 62nd minute, seizing on a loose pass from Hull's Egyptian wing-back Ahmed Elmohamady and surging to the edge of the box before drilling a low shot past goalkeeper Steve Harper.

YANNICK BOLASIE (Crystal Palace)
Bolasie helped establish the tempo as Palace pulled off a shock 1-0 win over Chelsea that enhanced their chances of avoiding relegation. The Democratic Republic of Congo winger stabbed an early attempt into the side-netting at Selhurst Park and also saw a penalty appeal waved away after going down under a robust challenge by Chelsea centre-back Gary Cahill.

WILFRIED BONY (Swansea City)
Bony played a key role as Swansea beat Norwich City 3-0 to ease their relegation fears. The Ivorian striker set up Swansea's second goal in the 38th minute, receiving a pass from Jonathan de Guzman and backheeling it into the path of the Dutch midfielder, who lifted a shot past Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy to complete a first-half brace.

YAYA TOURE (Manchester City)
Ivory Coast international Toure helped create City's goal in their 1-1 draw at Arsenal, with a midfield tackle on Lukas Podolski sparking a counter-attack that finished with David Silva putting the visitors ahead. His attempts to find a winning goal after Mathieu Flamini had equalised for Arsenal proved fruitless, however, with a late opportunity going begging after he was crowded out by a posse of defenders.


MANUCHO (Valladolid)
Angolan striker Manucho gave Valladolid's survival hopes a huge boost with the only goal of the game just five minutes into their clash with relegation rivals Almeria. The former Manchester United man slotted home right-footed from close range to register just his second goal of the season.


Asamoah started in his usual left-wing position for Juventus's trip to Napoli and before Jose Callejon's opener for the hosts had had a solid first half for the champions. In the 37th minute Asamoah was forced into a makeshift defensive position and could not stop Callejon from ghosting in behind him to deflect the ball into the net. Dries Mertens added a second on 81 minutes to seal the 2-0 win and hand Juve only their second defeat of the season.

A week after being sent off in a defeat at Fiorentina, Ghoulam was in fine form for Rafael Benitez's side during a 2-0 win at the San Paolo which helped spark life back into the title race. The Algerian came close to scoring when his pacy free-kick was tipped to safety by Gianluigi Buffon and later he made a potentially crucial sliding tackle to stop Mauricio Isla unleashing his shot to the right of goal.

Gervinho's pace, movement and creativity created all sorts of problems for Sassuolo, but the Ivorian failed to get his name on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Mattia Destro and Michel Bastos. After Juve's defeat at Napoli, Roma are now 11 points off the pace with a game in hand and seven rounds remaining.


The Guinea right-winger helped relegation-threatened VfB Stuttgart race into a 2-0 lead with a sixth assist of the season before his side succumbed to a 3-2 defeat at home to Borussia Dortmund. Traore powered through a poor tackle from young left-back Erik Durm before squaring for midfielder Martin Harnik to score Stuttgart's second after only 19 minutes with Dortmund's defence in disarray.

CHINEDU OBASI (Schalke 04)
The Nigeria international took advantage of the absence of Ghana's Kevin Prince Boateng to impress with a goal and assist from the right-wing in Schalke 04's 2-0 win at home to Hertha Berlin. Obasi put Schalke in front after 16 minutes, then supplied Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar with the final pass to add their second goal just after the interval.

The Cameroon international gave Hamburg an early lead, but was powerless to prevent them suffering a 10th defeat in 16 league games as they lost 3-1 at Borussia Moenchengladbach to edge closer to a historic first relegation. The 22-year-old headed home a free-kick on 28 minutes.


Ivory Coast international Kalou came off the bench to prod the ball home in the 92nd minute to snatch three desperately needed points for Rene Girard's Lille in a dramatic 1-0 victory over Guingamp. The match appeared to be heading for a goalless draw before Kalou popped up inside the six-yard box to knee the ball home following a corner.

MAX GRADEL (Saint-Etienne)
Ivorian Gradel scored with 16 minutes left to give Saint-Etienne a 2-1 derby win over Lyon and keep them three points behind Lille, and the final Champions League berth, with seven matches left in a tense Rhone derby at Lyon.

Democratic Republic of Congo defender Mongongu's 86th-minute penalty consigned his former club Monaco to a surprise 1-0 defeat away to Evian. The 24-year-old sent goalkeeper Danijel Subasic the wrong way from the spot after Ricardo Carvalho blocked a Cedric Barbosa shot with his arm.

Cameroon defender Nkoulou scored a last-minute equaliser to earn Marseille a 1-1 draw at Sochaux. Marseille remain sixth, adrift of the European places, while Sochaux are five points from safety after failing to hold on to the first-half lead given to them by Stoppila Sunzu. The Zambia defender rose unmarked to head home Sebastien Roudet's corner in the 25th minute.

Cameroon midfielder Makoun rounded off the scoring after 59 minutes in a 3-0 win for Rennes over Bastia, which gave the Brittany side their third straight victory and moved them clear of the drop zone. Swede Ola Toivonen, who scored the opening goal, teed up Makoun with the midfielder winning his face-off in front of goal with goalkeeper Mickael Landreau.

Cameroon striker Aboubakar netted a first-half penalty for struggling Lorient only for Cape Verde striker Fortes to earn European-chasing Reims a 1-1 draw.


FEGOR OGUDE (Amkar Perm)
The Nigerian midfielder, who scored three goals in as many matches before the encounter with second-place Zenit St Petersburg, had a clear chance to score in the 15th minute. However, his close-range header off a cross was confidently stopped by goalkeeper Yury Lodygin and Zenit went on to win 2-1.

DAME N'DOYE (Lokomotiv Moscow)
The Senegalese forward, third in the scorers' chart with 12 goals, had a goal disallowed for hand-ball as league leaders Lokomotiv were held 0-0 by fourth-place Spartak in a Moscow derby.

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