By Nurudeen Obalola:
Nigerian players Efe Ambrose, Adeleke Akinyemi and Obinna Nwobodo all played important roles as their clubs advanced to the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Young striker Akinyemi scored twice as Latvian side Ventspils held Albanian hosts Luftetari to a 3-3 draw in the second leg of the first qualifying round tie, taking his tally over the two legs to an incredible six goals.
He scored Ventspils’ first equaliser in the 45th minute and shot his side ahead in first half added time before the hosts scored twice in the second half for a 3-2 lead.
Abdullahi Alfa equalised for Ventspils in the 90th minute to give them an 8-3 agreggate win. Another Nigerian Tosun Aiyegun also played the full 90 minutes in the match.
The 19-year-old Akinyemi had scored four goals in the first leg, while Aiyegun completed the 5-0 rout.
Super Eagles veteran defender Efe Ambrose scored at both ends as Scottish Premiership side Hibernian defeated NSI Runavik of Faroe Islands 6-4 away from home for a 12-5 agreggate win in their own first qualifying round tie.
Ambrose scored an own goal to hand the hosts the lead in the first minute but made amends in the 50th minute as Hibs took a 4-3 lead.
Former Enugu Rangers star Obinna Nwobodo was also on target as his Hungarian club Ujpest defeated Azerbaijan side FC Neftchi 4-0 in their first qualifying round second leg clash for a 5-3 agreggate win.
Nwobodo scored Ujpest’s fourth goal to seal the win.