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African Players Shine in Thursday’s (19th) UEFA Europa League Group Stage Matches

There were some amazing moments for certain European-based African players during the third group stage matches of the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League, on Thursday.

Beginning at the Astana Arena, home to Astana Football Club, Ghana’s 23-year-old striker Patrick Twumasi and DR Congo’s Junior Kabananga enjoyed their first win in Group A after both scored a brace apiece, to trash Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv 4-0.

Twumasi was the first to register his name on the scoresheet with a brace after getting the curtain raiser in the 33rd minute followed by a 43rd-minute goal before Kabananga completed the 4-0 scoreline in the 47th and 52nd minutes, each. The three points comfortably put Astana in the third position in Group A with 4 points collected from three games.

Nigeria’s Alhaji Gero was also on target for Ostersund after they settled for a 2-2 draw against Athletic Bilbao. The 24-year-old leveled the scores in the 52nd minute after his side conceded a goal in the 14th minute. Ostersund remains at the top of Group B with seven points.

DR. Congo striker and Villarreal top scorer, Cedric Bakambu was unlucky to hit the target yesterday after he was introduced 15 minutes into the second half with the scores leveled at 2-2.

This was not the case for Bakambu’s compatriot Dieumerci Mbokani and Ivory Coast’s Roger Djapone who played in a 2-2 encounter between Dynamo Kyiv and Young Boys.  The Ivorian was the star man after he scored all two goals for Young Boys, his 10th goal in his last 10 games in all competitions, while Congo’s Mbokani found the back of the net in the 34th minute.

In Group E, Burkina Faso striker Bertrand Isidore Traoré worsened Everton’s frustration after he scored the winning goal for Olympique Lyonnais in the 75th minute at the Goodison Park to increase Lyon’s points to five from three games. The defeat leaves Everton with no win out of three games.

Elsewhere in Group F, another DR. Congo DR player Ziguy Badibanga scored a first-half equalizer in the 31st minute to help his side Sherriff Tiraspol secure a 1-1 draw against Lokomotiv Moskva. It was Sherrif’s third draw in the group, putting them two points behind group leaders Moskva with three points from three games.

Finally, Senegal’s Mame Diop closed the goal scoring window for African players last night after he scored an early opener in the 11th minute, but seven minutes later, things leveled up after his opponents FC Kobenhavn scored in the 19th minute to share the points.




Featured Photo: Getty Image

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