Naija Players Abroad

7 Super Eagles stars sent packing from Champions League

by: Evolve


Super Eagles stars Leon Balogun, Joe Aribo, Paul Onuachu, and 4 others will play no further part in the 2021/2022 UEFA Champions League after their clubs failed to progress from the qualification round. 

Balogun and Aribo were sent packing by their visitors Malmo FF following a 4-2 aggregate win after the second leg in Glasgow ended in a 1-2 defeat for them and their club, Rangers on Tuesday.

Both players were on the pitch from start to finish for the Scottish champions but could do nothing as 10-man Malmo inspired by Antonio Colak sealed the win that sent them packing. 

After a 2-1 defeat in Sweden in the first leg, Rangers started the second leg on the front foot and leveled the score on aggregate as early as the 18th minute when Alfredo Morelos’s goal put them ahead on the night. 

Things seemed to favour the Nigerians and their club even more when Malmo was reduced to 10-men after Innocent Bonke was sent off just before the break. 

However, in a space of four second half minutes, the visitors completely turned things around thanks to a brace from Colak and they held on to complete the win. 

After the game, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard had this to say about the result; 

“There will be a bit of panic on the outside, a bit of criticism and noise, that’s the reality and we have to accept that. But in terms of me and my staff, we won’t be because we have a lot of belief in this squad.” 

With the result, Rangers became the second Scottish club to be sent home after their main and biggest domestic rivals Celtic suffered a similar fate from Denmark’s Midtjylland.

Up next for our Nigerian lads and their club, they host Dunfermline Athletic on Friday in the second round of the League Cup before a date in the Europa League play-off against Kazakhstan’s Kairat Almaty or Alashkert of Armenia next week. 


Yes, the Scotland based duo were not the only ones, Paul Onuachu, Cyril Dessers and Peter Olayinka won’t play in the Champions League with their current clubs this season. 

While Onuachu failed to score for 82 minutes he was on the pitch, Dessers came off the pitch on 68 minutes to score what turned out a consolation in the end as Genk lost 2-1 on the day and 4-2 on aggregate to Ukrainian side, Shakhtar Donetsk. 

In Czech Republic, it was also the end of the road for Olayinka and his club Slavia Prague, who won 1-0 on the night but lost 2-1 on aggregate to Ferencvaros. 

For Henry Onyekuru, he watched from thr bench as his new club Olympiacos lost 4-1 to Ludogarets Razgrad after both teams ended the tie 2-2 on the night and 3-3 on aggregate. 

Here is hoping for better outings for them in thr Europa League playoffs that kickoff next week. 




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