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Iheanacho’s Goal Takes Top Spot On Glorious Weekend For Nigerian Players

By Femi Fasetire

Leicester City of England attacker, Kelechi Iheanacho got top spot among an array of Nigerian players that scored crucial goals for their clubs on Saturday, and the Super Eagles star also had another trophy added to his kitty at King Power Stadium.

Iheanacho hit home a penalty for the lone goal that gave his side victory over his former club, Manchester City in the Community Shield, on a glorious day that also saw Frank Onyeka score on his debut for Brentford, while Noni Madueke netted twice in Netherlands.

Madueke’s goals equally fetched PSV Eindhoven victory in the Dutch Super Cup, the equivalent of England’s Community Shield, which Leicester have now won only for the second time in their history, 50 years to the day since they first claimed it.

The 19-year-old Madueke (aka Noni) made the best of his starting spot in Saturday's game, as the 19-year-old Nigerian-born attacker hit a glorious brace in the first half to propel The Farmers past Erik ten Hag's squad.

Madueke, who was later on named man of the match, proved how lethal he can be when he beat Ajax's goalkeeper Remko Pasveer twice in the first 45 minutes, on a day the opponents had a player sent off.

The youngster made his first mark as early as two minutes into the encounter, when he hit an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box past Pasveer after waltzing his way past his markers and he then doubled PSV’s lead in the 29th minute with an assist from Eran Zahavi.

In England, while Iheanacho relished his decisive effort, Onyeka admitted sheer delight from his first ever goal with Brentford, as the former FC Midtjylland of Denmark battler helped The Bees end their pre-season fixtures with a 2-1 win over visiting Valencia of Spain.

Onyeka netted 20 minutes from the final whistle for his first goal in Brentford's colours, as he struck home into the bottom corner after a cross was poorly cleared by the Valencia defence, but his effort came on the same evening Iheanacho stole all the headlines.

The Foxes’ latest moment of joy came after ‘Kelz’ slotted home a penalty two minutes from the final whistle to give his side a 1-0 victory over his former team and ensured that Man City's Nigerian-born lad, Sam Edozie ended on the losing side.

Iheanacho's effort also spoiled the debut for Jack Grealish, who got off The Citizens’ bench in place of Edozie midway through the second half, bench but it was the opposing substitute that won the Shield for Leicester.

With many established stars also missing through injury or late returns from their summer exertions, and Grealish waiting in the wings, City boss Guardiola named an unfamiliar side, while also giving teenagers Edozie and Cole Palmer their chances to impress.

Edozie, an 18-year-old winger, who scored three times during pre-season, wasted a big chance when he was played in by Gundogan only to shank his shot wide.

However, Leicester would not be denied and their winner arrived after Nathan Ake clumsily brought down Iheanacho in the area, and his winning goal made him the first player to score a penalty in a Community Shield final (excluding shoot-outs) since 2001.

Before the 24-year-old Iheanacho’s well-taken penalty, no player has scored a spot-kick (in regulation time) in the Community Shield since Gary McAllister converted for Liverpool against Manchester United 20 years ago.

In addition, the 89th-minute strike ended Iheanacho's goal drought against his former club, as he got his first in nine appearances against The Citizens and his sixth attempt against them in all competitions, after leaving Etihad Stadium to King Power Stadium in 2017.

‘Kelz,’ who was a runner-up with City in the 2014/15 season, was in action alongside his compatriot, Wilfred Ndidi, who played the duration for Brendan Rodgers' side, while Zambia's Patson Daka replaced Jamie Vardy in the 71st minute for his competitive debut for Leicester.

Iheanacho beamed with delight afterwards, as he revealed: “I missed one last season but I have been practicing all the time. I just had it in my mind to shoot on an angle and hit it hard.

"I don't know what to say. I think it is mixed emotions. I'm really grateful for getting the trophy today for my team. I'm really happy.”

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Community Shield England Frank Onyeka Kelechi Iheanacho PSV Eindhoven

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