Champions League Roundup: Osimhen, Sanusi, Onyedika advance; Bassey drops to Europa; Amoo exits Europe

Champions League Roundup: Osimhen, Sanusi, Onyedika advance; Bassey drops to Europa; Amoo exits Europe

  • The curtain has been drawn on the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, with sixteen clubs advancing to the knockout rounds, eight teams dropping to the Europa League, and eight others ending their adventure on the continent.

EaglesTracker highlights how Nigerian stars fared with their respective clubs in the round-robin stage of Europe's premier club competition.

Victor Osimhen will look forward to a deep run in the UEFA Champions League after Napoli made it to the knockout round as Group A winners.

Osimhen got injured in the competition opener against Liverpool at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in September, missing the team's 3-0 win at Rangers and 1-6 triumph at Ajax.

The Super Eagles striker, however, made a scoring return in the 4-2 victory at home to Ajax.

Napoli defeated Rangers in the return leg in Italy to claim wins in their first five
group stage matches for the first time in the club's history.

Luciano Spalletti's men lost on matchday six to Liverpool, but they had done enough to seal the top spot in Group A ahead of the Anfield giants.

Osimhen will be appearing in the knockout round of the Champions League for the first time in his career.

While Osimhen celebrated with Napoli, international teammate Calvin Bassey suffered disappointment with Ajax Amsterdam.

Bassey featured in all of Ajax's six matches, byt the Eredivisie giants found the going tough against Napoli and Liverpool.

Ajax, though, showed their quality in two wins over Glasgow Rangers, which was enough to get the Dutch side third spot.

While Ajax's continental challenge continues in February next year, the reigning Netherlands champions will drop to the second-tier Europa League.

Over to Group B and an incredible turnaround in fortunes saw Zaidu Sanusi and Porto overcome a poor start to finish as group leaders.

Porto began their campaign with back-to-back defeats to Atletico Madrid and Club Brugge.

But Sanusi's first goal of the season - the opener in the 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen at the Estádio Do Dragão - brought back the good luck in favour of the reigning champions.

There was to be no looking back from that point on as Porto went on to record convincing victories over Leverkusen (away), Brugge (away), and Atletico (home) to book a place in the next phase among the seeded teams.

Advancing with Porto in Group B is Club Brugge and their Nigerian import Raphael Onyedika.

The arrival of Onyedika to Brugge coincided with the club's most successful run in the UEFA Champions League.

With the Nigerian midfielder delivering one excellent performance after another at the centre of the pack, the Belgian champions secured three wins and two draws.

Interestingly, Brugge sealed the runners-up slot ahead of favourites Atletico Madrid.

Nigerian forward Fortune Bassey and Viktoria Plzen knew they were in for a rough ride when they were drawn together with Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, and Barcelona in Group C.

There would be no upset as Bassey and the Czech Republic giants shipped 24 goals and lost all six matches to crash out of Europe.

In Group G, a frustrating Champions League campaign ended sourly for Danish champions FC Copenhagen.

With Nigeria international Akinkunmi Amoo out injured and compatriot Paul Mukairu sparingly deployed, the Danes finished bottom of a group that had Manchester City (winners), Borussia Dortmund (runners-up), and Sevilla (Europa). 

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