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Europa: Ogu, Nwakaeme in action as Hapoel advance


/ by Editor
Nigerian duo of midfielder John Ogu and Anthony Nwakaeme helped their Israeli club Hapoel Be’er Sheva qualify after holding Southampton to a 1-1 at St. Mary’s in Group K for the next round of the UEFA Europa League.

The two teams finished on eight points apiece but Be’er Sheva edged out the English side on the away goals rule. Maor Bar Buzaglo put Be’er Sheva ahead 79 minutes in the game, before Virgil van Dijk scored a late equalizer for the Saints as the match ended 1-1.

In the other group’s game, Nigerian striker, Emmanuel Emenike failed to find the net, but his club Fenerbahce booked their place with a 1-0 away win at Feyenoord. Ideye’s Olympiacos lost 2-0 to APOEL Nicosia but still qualified from the group as runner-up.

It was a bad day for Kayode Olanrewaju and his club FKAustria Wien, as they crashed out with a 3-2 loss to Viktoria Plzen. Elderson Echiejile failed to progress with Standard Liege after playing a 1-1 draw with Ajax.

The duo of Moses Simeon and Aminu Umar advanced with their clubs, FK Osmanlispor and KAA Gent with their 1-0 and 2-0 wins against Konyaspor and FC Zuerich respectively.

However, Manchester United booked a place in the Europa League Round of 32 after a deserved 2-0 victory over bottom-of-the-group Zorya Luhansk in Odessa. The Red Devils only needed a point to progress but Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s first goal for the club set United on the way to a comfortable win, which was sealed late on by Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s well-taken finish.

Elsewhere in Group A, Fenerbahce triumphed 1-0 at Feyenoord, meaning Jose Mourinho’s men will go into Monday’s draw as group runners-up. The Jose Mourinho men knew a draw would be enough to go through and, with an important Premier League meeting with Tottenham just under 72 hours away, Mourinho made six changes to the team that drew at Everton.

Sergio Romero replaced David De Gea in goal, while Eric Bailly made his first appearance in the defence since October following a knee injury. Ashley Young, Daley Blind, Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney also came in to the side.
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