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African footballers in Europe: Awoniyi’s dream home debut

Taiwo Awoniyi

With the goal that defeated West Ham 1-0 in the Premier League over the weekend, Nigerian Taiwo Awoniyi started making up the £17.5 million ($21 mn, 20.7 mn euros) he cost Nottingham Forest.

Joe Aribo, another representative of Nigeria, scored in the most watched domestic league in the world, helping Southampton draw 2-2 with Leeds thanks to a comeback.

Below are some weekend headlines from Africa as highlighted by AFP Sport:


In an effort to ensure survival, Forest has made an astounding 15 new signings upon their return to the top division for the first time in 23 years. The largest expenditure of that shopping extravaganza was reportedly a club record paid on Union Berlin’s Awoniyi. Even though the 24-year-old had no knowledge of the outcome, Taiwo Awoniyi became an instant hero on his home debut by scoring the only goal in Forest’s victory over West Ham. Ben Johnson of West Ham blocked the ball, which ricocheted off Awoniyi’s knee and slid into the open goal.


The Senegal captain scored on his home debut in a tense 2-2 tie with Tottenham to kick off his Chelsea career. In order to volley in Marc Cucurella’s corner for the opening goal, Koulibaly used striker-style technique rather than that of a center-back.

JOE ARIBO (Southampton)

In a 1-1 with Leeds, Aribo, who had been on the bench, scored his first Premier League goal and might have saved Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl’s job. When he entered the game, Saints were down 2-0. It took the former Rangers player just 10 minutes to give Southampton hope by using deft footwork to get around Illan Meslier and score in the far corner.


Sadio Mane, a former striker for Liverpool, performed admirably for Bayern again despite not scoring in a 2-0 victory over Wolfsburg. As he attempts to form a connection with German winger Serge Gnabry like to the one he had with Mohamed Salah at Anfield, Mane had one goal disallowed in each half for offside.


The 2-0 victory over Sampdoria was achieved in part by Lookman’s expertly executed debut goal for Atalanta. In the fifth minute of stoppage time, the Nigerian international polished off a quick counterattack with a calm finish after tricking the home defense.


Lecce fans were hoping for a good start to their Serie A campaign when Gambian Ceesay skillfully finished off Federico Di Francesco’s deft through ball to tie the promoted team with Inter Milan. Denzel Dumfries stole a last-second winner for Inter, so it wasn’t to be.


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