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Europa League: Kayode Scores Again As Sivasspor Claim First Win; Aribo Subbed On, Balogun Benched In Rangers’ Draw At Benfica

Europa League: Kayode Scores Again As Sivasspor Claim First Win; Aribo Subbed On, Balogun Benched In Rangers’ Draw At Benfica

Olanrewaju Kayode scored again for Sivasspor in the Europa League as they beat visiting Qarabag 2-0 in Group I to record their first win on Thursday, Completesports.com reports.

It was Kayode’s third goal in three consecutive games in Europe’s second-tier club competition.

Kayode, who was brought on in the 59th minute,  netted with two minutes left in the game to double the Turkish club’s lead.

Also Read: Eagles’ Camp Opens In Benin Monday; Leone Stars To Arrive On Wednesday

Sivasspor took the lead thanks to Caner Osmanpasa just 11 minutes into the encounter.

The win saw Sivasspor occupy third position in the group on three points.

In Group D, Joe Aribo was in action while Leon Balogun was benched as 10-man Benfica forced Rangers to a 3-3 draw in Portugal.

Aribo played for 69 minutes before making way for his replacement while former Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi was sent off with Benfica 1-0 up.

An own goal by Connor Goldson in the 2nd minute put Benfica 1-0 up but Rangers equalised via another own goal on 24 minutes by Diogo Goncalves.

Goals from Glen Kamara and Alfredo Morelos on 24 and 51 minutes respectively, put Rangers 3-1 up.

Despite being a player down, Rafa Silva (77th minute) and Darwin Nunez (90th minute) scored to help Benfica snatch a share of the spoils.

Rangers top the group on seven points same point as Benfica who occupy second spot.

In some other results, Peter Olayinka played for Slavia Prague who beat Nice 3-2, Napoli without Victor Osimhen edged home side Rijeka 2-1, Granada beat Omonia Nicosia 2-0 and Roma trounced Cluj 5-0.

By James Agberebi 

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  • Kingston 9 months ago

    Kayode got quality, the unfortunate thing is that he didn’t take his chances when he was playing at la liga that is a big stage. 3 goals in 3 games is proof of his quality, at some point he also won the golden boot at Austria league. which he was 21 or 22 years and playing at this level and scoring goals the same way. likewise Anthony nwakweam, just wish this players were younger is fully their international careers.
    anyway, Iheanacho has scored! the lad keeps giving Rodgers proof that he deserves regular play.

    • JimmyBall 9 months ago

      Though I agree with your comment but Kayode is still quite young… The word is fitness and once you have that you are good to go anyday anywhere… Thiago Silva is 36yrs and still captaining the soccer-playing nation in the world… Some Nigerian players have just not been lucky being called up into the Super Eagles mix… I won’t be surprised if Kayode is neither older than Moses Simon nor Samuel Kalu… The Super Eagles in the days of Amokachie and Yekini used to look more mature and older, yet they did so well.

  • Ranger’s midfield collapse immediately Ariball left the pitch and 3 to 1 became 3-3 just like that.

  • Greenturf 9 months ago

    Balogun is sitting on the bench more often lately,no thanks to injuries which slowed his promising beginning to life in Scotland.

    A player of Baloguns calibre should have helped Rangers to come out top against a ten man Benfica but Gerrald thinks otherwise,and prefers two inexperienced central defenders to a seasoned international as Balogun what a shame.He was also so quick to haul off Aribo.Doesn’t look like a wise decision because Rangers conceded two goals afterwards despite their numerical advantage.

    Balogun has to up his game and stay healthy otherwise his place in the super eagles will disappear so quickly in the air as we await the newbies to join the lads after FIFA’s approval.

    • GLORY 9 months ago

      @ Greenturf, Balogun remains proper quality and can’t see anyone displacing him in the SE set up. Gerald is rotating the squad, reason he was on the bench and nothing to do with upping his game or injuries.

      • Greenturf 9 months ago

        Are you kidding me?Balogun has been on the bench for three games running and you call that rotation?The last time he played was as a second half substitute against bitter rivals Celtic.

        • Larry 9 months ago

          Actually, he’s missed the last two. His last match was the last European cup before this..
          Rangers have kept clean sheet in more than 90% of matches that he has featured..

          https://www.google.com/search?gs_ssp=eJzj4tDP1TfIMjEvNmD04ipKzEtPLSpWSEsGAEewBrY&q=rangers fc&oq=rangers&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j46i39j69i61l2j69i60.3747j1j4&client=ms-android-tmus-us-revc&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#sie=m;/g/11hx_z7zy9;2;/m/01

          • Greenturf 9 months ago

            @Larry,I am never in doubt of his qualities rather I am astonished by his bench role.

            I mentioned health reasons earlier because he was outstanding in his first couple of games in the league until he got injured so by the time he got back from injury,the other lads have done well so it wasn’t Balogun all the way as the Gaffer has to rotate but it’s worrying because lately,the other lads are playing more,getting more games than our own Balogun implies there is something not right.Something you and I don’t know.

            I hope he start playing more because I think his experience will come handy especially against big opponents in Africa.

            The bitter experience against Benfica last night may prompt Gerald to start our Balogun in the next league game and I hope he has a performance that would make that position locked up and permanently because this lad is a big part of our plans going forward.His experience and technical abilities will come handy as we go into a difficult African world cup playoffs.

        • GLORY 9 months ago

          @ Greenturf, Balogun is perfectly healthy, nothing to worry about. Gerald is just doing the right thing. He came back from injury, while the young lads were doing well, takes nothing away from Balogun’s Supreme qualities. Only an inexperienced manager will change a winning team outrightly. The fact that Gerald even had to bench some of those young lads and played him,tells of how much the gaffer values him, hence has chosen to rotate squad. And again, they are doing well in league wherein they now stand a chance of clinching league title from Celtic,which is more important to their fans than the Europe cup. So Gerald might have just decided to rest him for their next league game. As for the SE, non and I boldly repeat, non of our present SE defenders, both those aspiring and those already part of the team is anywhere near Balogun’s class.

          • Greenturf 9 months ago

            @Glory…well that’s debatable I am a big fan of Balogun.But I don’t think he’s better than all our aspiring defenders which includes Udokhai,Adarabioyo and the capped ones like Ajayi and Apoguma.

            Apparently,he could be better technically but it’s never all about technique when defending because there are other qualities a coach could be looking for.The big question is if Balogun is the best central defender in Nigeria which includes those aspiring how come he cannot command a regular shirt in a team from the Scottish league when those who are beneath him are regulars in the English and German topflights?

            Please I need an answer to that.I want to be convinced he is head above others.

          • GLORY 9 months ago

            @ Greenturf, pls count I n I, out from amongst fans that rate players going by club the players play for or club performances. I am not into all these madness about Europe clubs. I only watch the Nigerian players in them. I KNOW QUALITY PLAYER WHEN I SEE ONE, so don’t need club statistics to do their money motivated brainwashing, into who is good and who is not good. Balogun is miles ahead of the others; Udokuai, Torrunariga, Semi Ajayi, Aderobio etc. They can only make I n I believe otherwise, when I see them give a better performance than Balogun in the national team

          • GLORY 9 months ago

            And again @ Greenturf, pls mention the qualitiies, the other defenders you claim to be better than Balogun have, that he Balogun doesn’t.

          • GLORY 9 months ago

            You must realise, that clubsides emphasis on age, as it’s very vital to building a team that may last for many years to come. Also with regards to the business side of a football club, age is a key factor. So knowing fully well Balogun is 30+, it’s always never going to be the best idea,to invest on him as against investing on younger players, who yes may not be as good quality as he is but then has potentials to be good or maybe better in the future. But here is the difference with national team. We need the already matured quality with sprinkle potentials for the future.

          • Greenturf 9 months ago

            @Glory,well club performances is the only way to rate players in this day and age unfortunately.

            I hope Balogun starts playing regular club football because that’s the platform he needs to stake a claim in the heart of the super eagles defence.

            I do get your point on his output for the national team which is praiseworthy but he has to be in top notch form to repeat same fantastic performances.Remember the best of Balogun for the super eagles was while he was a regular player in the bundesliga with Mainz 05.

          • Greenturf 9 months ago

            @Glory, Leon Balogun is not that old.At 32 he should still be a potential interest for top clubs.But unfortunately,that can only happen when you had a great season in your previous team which must be a topside or a team in the best five leagues in Europe.

            The likes of Thiago Silva is 36 and yet was courted by many topsides in Europe and ended up at Chelsea because he had a good season in another topside PSG.But Balogun was on the bench for Brighton and only had a handful of games before he was loaned out to Wigan.So if you can’t command a regular playing time at a premiership strugglers Brighton & holves then I don’t think you will attract any interest from any topside,it’s got nothing to do with age.

            Top clubs do sign older players sometimes without a resale option in a situation they think the player could help with their ambition for the season.

          • GLORY 9 months ago

            @ Greenturf, club performances is the only way THE BUSINESS SIDE OF FOOTBALL RATE PLAYERS AND DEFINITELY NOT THE WAY TO RATE GOOD PLAYERS FOR NATIONAL TEAM OTHERWISE YOU WILL CONSTANTLY GET IT WRONG IN PLAYERS SELECTION, AS LOTS OF PLAYERS INVITED BASED ON CLUB PERFORMANCES WILL FRUSTRATINGLY END UP SHOWING THEY HAVE BEEN PRETENDERS. A not so talented player with very well connected football agent will get better clubs and better game time than a more talented one who hasn’t had the privilege of a very influential agent. So many factors besides players qualitiies contributes to playing for these clubsides. Good relationship with the gaffer on n off the pitch, ability to communicate, relationship with the team in general, respect for club hierarchy, maintenance of club policy of silence, your age, your facial expressions. Infact this facial expression is something many don’t know is very vital to players career but surely it is. If a top member of a clubside don’t like your facial expressions, you are good as done. THEN AS FOR BALOGUN NOT PLAYING WHILE AT BRIGHTON, I WILL ADVICE YOU @ GREENTURF TO JUST LET SLEEPING DOG LIE, WE KNOW FOR SURE IT WASN’T FOR FOOTBALL REASONS, SO DONT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE BRAINWASHED BY THE ANTICS APPLIED TO DESTROY HIM.

          • GLORY 9 months ago

            Just missed out history of injury lay off as another very important factor. Unfortunately this has been Balogun’s football career demon right from his youth.

    • Mercy 9 months ago

      Balogun missing of games recently is down to his past injury history. Though it might be painful, but the truth is that Balogun is not the kind of player who will play 3 consecutive matches in 7days without getting injured. Even when he was in Mainz he hardly played 20 games per season. So the best way to keep him fit over the course of the season is to give his body enough time to fully recover before playing him in a match

      I have watched the likes of Jordan, Felix and Tosin on multiple occasions, none of them at least as at today not come close to what Balogun brings in a match. Though Jordan Torunarigha seems to have the qualities to be the best among the others listed.

      • GLORY 9 months ago

        Expertly put @ Mercy. Now I see you truly have that eagle eye for pure talent. Torrunariga just as you said, is the one, I see as another real quality. Udokuai is a really good talent but has lots of down sides to his game, such as, he easily travels with a body swerve, same weakness with Ekong. For Aderobio,he is not yet there physically and to me, he is at the moment,a younger Ajayi but honestly speaking, looks a good deal for the future.

  • Its two goals for iheanacho. Well played. Scoring when called upon is proof of your skill and quality.

  • Kingston 9 months ago

    iheanacho deserves better playing time than his getting at Leicester. vardy is good and has gained the heart of Rodgers so it is best he keeps proving himself like this all the time. Leicester has quality, so it may not be bad if Iheanacho still stays at Leicester if only he receives regular play. if not as the main striker then behind vardy. 3 goals and 3 assists in 3 games speaks volumes. iheanacho has improved since his days at man City. he’s a more complete striker now than 4 years ago when he only got his finishing as his assest. now he plays very similar to lewandoski.
    I will keep saying it – osimhen Iheudoikhai/ajayi. anacho and iwobi would be lethal! their style of play are so intertwined that it will oil applied to a machine.
    as for balogun, he has to improve and get a permanent spot in the team. I don’t think he’s part of our future but for now we still need him especially now that he is in top form. the future of super eagles center backs, probably the 2022 squad, will include – ekong, akpoguma, awaziem, adarabioyo, udoikhai/ajayi.

    • GLORY 9 months ago

      @ Kingston, you know, Balogun is miles ahead of all the other SE defenders, both prospective and confirmed. We are lucky to have him in the SE. The others can only look to get to his level in the foreseeable future.

  • Larry 9 months ago

    Baring injuries, Balogun remains the best central back for SE..
    Folks should be more worried about SE captain Ekong captain because at this stage in his career, he is warming the bench for 90mins in his last match. He was an unused substitute in his last match against Stoke (Championship game!! Div.II), Retired Mikel obi featured and performed greatly in the match..

  • Omo9ja 9 months ago

    Kayode is a complete striker like Aghahowa. Kayode is our new Aghahowa. Ignoring this Kayode in the Super Eagles is something I still don’t understand.

    Some times, the league you play at doesn’t matter but your qualities. What you will add to the team should be the number one priority for any manager.

    This is why I said NFF should hire an expert so that the person can compliments Mr. Rohr’s efforts. It is not too late though.

    let me stop here because NFF and Oga Rohr fans do not like to hear the truth.

    The love our country comes first not NFF or the gaffer and his fans.

    Together we can build our Super Eagles. So therefore, Kayode, Dessers, Maja and so on deserves some class and also deserves to represent Nigeria as their fatherland. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

    • Greenturf 9 months ago

      I do not agree with you on Dessers and Maja at least not for now.They need to be regulars for their team and show some consistency in their performances.But I will agree somewhat on Kayode who has a nimble feet what bin poled Onuachu is lacking.

      Meanwhile,Kayode is definitely getting the attention of Rohr,though he needs to start scoring in the Turkish super Lig.I think it’s not quite long he came back from injury.

      The performances he had in the Europa league is laudable.Replicating that in the Turkish super Lig will guarantee a spot in the super eagles.We need a striker burstling with pace and energy just like our own Kayode.A striker that would come in as a substitute and be a nuisance to opposition defenders as well has his own fair share of goals,this qualities are absolutely invaluable.

      • Omo9ja 9 months ago

        @Greenturf and NA ME TALK AM,

        “I do not agree with you on Dessers and Maja at least not for now”.

        Until when? They are not matured enough to be in the Super Eagles ba?

        How old was Mikel Obi when Aguavon or so took him to Afcon?

        Come on my people. Stop making the same mistake Oga Rohr is making.

        Having bad time at the club level doesn’t make you a bad player kę. This is what Oga needs to understand.

        So, if late Keshi were Oga Rohr, Emunike wouldn’t have bn at the world cup.

        Kayode and Dessers have nothing to prove to Oga Rohr period.

        it seems like NFF are selecting players for Oga Rohr.

        The Afcon list was not that fantastic.

        Why converting players when we have players?

        We have Nwakali who is really good at distributing ball all over the pitch but Mr. Rohr overlooked him and opted for Ajayi?

        What qualified Akpeyi to be in that team?

        From his day one in the national teams, he has never convinced Nigerians but still making the list up till this morning.

        Fellow Nigerians, I am not putting anyone down but we have to face the truth of the matter.

        Do we have players? If yes, then what is stopping the coach to build us a solid team instead of converting players?

        Akpoguma is a rock in the back but the manager is playing him in a wrong position.

        Even, one of his agents already complaining about the decision of the gaffer over Akpoguma. His agent even said if Mr. Rohr keep using the guy in a wrong position, Akpoguma would be average player forever in the Super Eagles.

        Mr. Westerhof did not care if you were playing in a lower league but all he cares about is your qualities.

        Kayode and Dessers for instance are unique, excellent, exceptional dependable and reliable.

        My question now is, why Oga keep inviting players to camp and in the end, they will get 5 minutes of play time or even not putting them on the bench without kicking the ball?

        Thank God that Osagwe won’t be available for the Afcon qualifiers.

        He won’t allowing him to play. The friendlies we had last month would have been better to try out Osagwe, Alanpasun and Yakubu.

        We knew what Okoye capable of doing. Try new players to make your team a solid and Indomitable team Shikena.

        Well, what do I know. It is well. God bless Nigeria!!!

        • NA ME TALK AM 9 months ago

          @Omo9ja .. first Nwakali is not a DM and Ajayi played as a DM in our recent matches .

          Yes players are picked anywhere in the world via club form for national team .

          do you mean to say a coach should choose a player with ZERO goal at club level to a tournament ?

          Akpeyi is back to the team because he’s only the experienced keeper we have at the moment and he’s also active with his club .

          Football is always about talent and experience both at club-side and country level.

          SE during the days of Westerhof is different from today’s SE . Brotherly that is over two decades ago .

          Civilization during the days of Westerhof is different from today’s civilization .

          You saying Westerhof choose players in the lower league means you want the SE in this current era to stay stucked in 25 years ago .

          Simple question to you Mr Omo9ja , Have you evolved as a person since 25years ago ?

          God bless Nigeria

    • NA ME TALK AM 9 months ago

      @Omo9ja .. Kayode has zero goal in his league this season and had several bad seasons in the past with Girona , Shakhtar Donetsk and an average season with Gaziantep FK . He only had two good season with Maccabi Netanya and Austria Wien which is many years ago .

      Please allow the lad to keep his form going before jumping on He should be invited to SE .

      A good form in his league and Europe will definitely earn him a spot with the SE without anyone campaigning for his invite .

      Turkish league is quite popular than Slovak league or Serbia league and other minor leagues . So he’ll definitely earn a spot with SE , if he can keep his form and continue scoring .

      Once he can keep up with his form , then he’ll surely be invited to the SE . You don’t call for an invite only after 2 – 3 games . A new player needs to play at least 15 good games in a season before thinking of an invite to the Super Eagles .

      if you invite every players because of just few games , then you might end up calling the whole players in Europe and other continents . As a result of that , the SE might end up with no team and zero team chemistry for AFCON and WORLDCUP .

      We should all allow this players do the talking on the field and with actions , instead of advocating for an invite for them for matches below 10 – 15 games .

      God Bless Nigeria

      • U people get tym for this guy man call himself Omo9ja o! Come next week he’ll be talking about another striker like Fanendo And Fatai Alashe in the past.

        • Omo9ja 9 months ago

          @Oga Sean, I can’t stop laughing o. Chai, of course they will because we love our darling team and it is you and I responsibilities to talk about our beloved team Super Eagles.

          If I may ask Mr. Sean, are you satisfy with what you are seeing with the Super Eagles performances in the last friendlies?

          Just a quick question ni o.

          However, I hope Chima E Samuels, Udah and Oakfield are doing well? I’m missing you guys on here and it bn a while I hear from you guys. I hope you all doing okay?

          One love my people. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • pompei 9 months ago

    Kayode missed an open net just before he scored. He could have hung his head after that glaring miss, but he kept going and pushing for another chance, and he was rewarded. A bit worrying that the goals have not been coming in the league, but that’s football sometimes. As long as he keeps doing other things that add value to his team, the tide will turn eventually.
    Another stunning open net miss today came courtesy of the Nigeria boy who chose England, Bukayo Saka. He missed right inside the 6 yard box. It happens though. Even the best forwards miss goals from time to time. He did come up with a fine assist as the game went on.

  • Elijah samson 9 months ago

    @Omo9ja if you are a coach and you are only permitted to go to a competition with 24-25 players, you need strikers not less than 2-3 between Osimhen, kele, onouchi, kayode, Maja, sodiq etc, currently which of them will be your preferred two that you will pick?

  • The fact is we have too many attackers to choose from. The same goes for defenders and they are all doing well. So when it comes to selection, the coach will naturally chose those he is familiar with. Thats just it. If there is a vacancy or if any of the regulars get injured, then the coach can bring in the unknowns or fringe players as they call them. But know this, the coach can’t invite everyone at the same time. This is super eagles not U-17 where they can throw the camp open to everyone.

    • Greenturf 9 months ago

      You could have too many attackers playing at same level to choose from and still getting same results.

      In my opinion most of our attackers are just good but they are not at that Mane,Mahrez,Salah and Aubamayang level.Until a couple or more of our attackers starts playing at that level then we could say we have so many good attackers to choose from but not until then.

      We miss Victor Moses.I wish Abraham and Saka settled on Nigeria.This are the quality that could have brought a big change in our attack.

      Having said that,there’s hope because the likes of Iheanacho is improving and gradually getting to that level,Kayode as well but the numbers are few.Our best striker Osimhen is struggling in Italy.Is he actually the best?Well that’s contentious.The defence has quality and are good to go.I will rate our defence as one of the best in Africa at the moment but other departments needs to do catch up.

      Until we get to equilibrium,we would be struggling especially against top opponents in the continent.

  • The only thing i like about this @Omo9ja is the fact that he keeps “amazing” us on this forum with his “comic, funny & laughable” reasoning mentality….

    Last time he was advocating for ONUACHU & ONYEKA, the young men came and put him to open shame….

    He’s now advocating for KAYODE that right from his days in u17 in 2009 under coach JOHN OBUH, he keep struggling to score….
    He was opportuned to partake in 2 different edition of U20 (2011; 2013) yet can’t score goals as expected….

    Infact the only goals he did exceptionally well was the goal against CAMEROUN in u20 afcon final(2011) and the solo goal against URUGUAY in U20 q/finals(2013)….

    The young man is not lucky in front of goals and we don’t need such a striker in our dear SE ASAP.

    Omo9ja if u are not satisfy with the current squad and strikers in the team, u can form ur own national team and invite ur world best KAYODE and use him as ur lone striker….

  • Kingston 9 months ago

    omo9ja has an open view along with the right to air it. don’t get me wrong, his analysis is deeply flawed and kind of hilarious. but there’s still no need to get insulting here.
    anyway, kayode is no option. I’m very sure he’s down in the pecking order for strikers alone, how much more forwards.
    kayode lacks consistency, age is no longer on his side, and his chances will vaporizes as soon as lookman switch completes. terem moffi has the same attributes as kayode, which is pace and the ability to beat the last defender. if this guy improves in form and continues getting regular play, then kayode’s international career is bye bye. God helps him.