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Almeria’s Sadiq makes Afcon 2021 statement with goal against Real Zaragoza

8:02 am AEDT 12/12/21
Umar Sadiq of Nigeria and Almeria.
Having rediscovered his scoring form against the Zaragozans, the striker would be hoping to make Super Eagles’ provisional squad for Cameroon 2021

Sadiq Umar was among the goal scorers as Almeria subdued Real Zaragoza 3-0 in Saturday’s LaLiga Smartbank encounter.

Prior to the game against the Zaragozans, the Nigerian had gone on a run of eight matches without success in front of goal.

Nonetheless, he rediscovered his scoring form to help the Rojiblancos keep their push for a return to the Spanish elite division.

Unbeaten in their last three matches in all competitions, Juan Ignacio Martinez’s men travelled to Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos with the ambition of extending their fine form.

They had the first chance in the 15th minute but Alvaro Gimenez’s header from a corner kick missed the goal narrowly.

Shortly after that attempt, Almeria dominated ball possession but the visitors put up a strong defensive display to neutralise their pouring attacks.

They had their first glaring opportunity in the 28th minute, albeit, a great block from Cristian Alvarez denied Arnau Puigmal from finding the net.

Two minutes, Umar went close but he could not put the ball beyond goalkeeper Cristian Alvarez.

Both teams approached the second half cautiously, but it was Martinez’s side who took the lead two minutes after the hour mark through former Nigeria U23 star Umar.

Four minutes to the end of the game, Almeria doubled their lead thanks to Alejandro Pozo who was teed up by substitute Largie Ramazani.

Zaragoza’s hopes of launching a late comeback faded into thin air as Ramazani slotted home a pass from Samu.

Umar- who now boasts of eight goals in the 2021-22 campaign – would be aiming his performance earns him a place in Nigeria’s provisional squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations billed for Cameroon.

With Napoli’s Victor Osimhen still a doubt for the biennial African football showpiece, the 24-year-old could be given a chance by coach Gernot Rohr to prove his worth.

On the other side, Nigeria’s James Igbekeme was handed a place in the starting XI but was subbed off for Nano Mesa on the stroke of half time.

Thanks to this result, Almeria remain at the summit of the log after accruing 45 points from 20 matches. Unbeaten in their last 11 matches in all competitions, they are guests of Lugo in their next league outing on December 20.