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Osimhen or Umar Sadiq's replacement? Nigeria striker sets new European record as Olayinka stars for Slavia Praha

10:33 SAST 2022/09/16
Peter Olayinka of Nigeria Super Eagles and Slavia Praha.
Nigeria international Peter Olayinka set a new mark for Slavia Praha in their 3-2 Europa Conference League victory against Ballkani on Thursday.

WHAT HAPPENED? Despite playing in front of their own fans at Eden Arena, Slavia were stunned when Ermal Krasniqi put Ballkani ahead in the 23rd minute but goalkeeper Stivi Frasheri scored an own goal to level matters in the 26th minute before Meriton Korenica restored Ballkani's lead two minutes later. However, the Super Eagle smashed home the second for Slavia in the 34th minute before Lukas Masopust drilled home the winner in the 41st minute. Ballkani were reduced to 10 men with six minutes left to the final whistle when Astrit Thaci was sent off for a clumsy challenge.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The goal for Olayinka saw him reach a new landmark for Slavia as it was his 13th European strike for the club, making him the all-time top scorer in European competitions for the Czech outfit. During the qualifiers, Olayinka scored four goals to help Slavia qualify for the group stage. He was on target in their first group stage fixture as Slavia battled to a 1-1 draw against Sivasspor at Yeni Sivas 4 Eylul Stadı on September 8.

ALL EYES ON: Olayinka's display against Ballkani will be good news for Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro as he prepares to name his squad for the upcoming friendly match against Algeria at Oran Olympic Stadium on September 27, particularly with Umar Sadiq and Victor Osimhen out injured. It will also be good news for Slavia as they continue to hunt for the top-flight title. Slavia are currently top of the 16-team table with 19 points from eight matches. They have won six, drawn one and lost one.

THE MATCH IN ONE PHOTO:


THE VERDICT: The 26-year-old continued his fine start to the season in the European competition with the goal and on top of that, he chipped in with an assist for the third goal scored by Masopust. The goal will spur him on to score in the league, where he is yet to find the back of the net in three matches. Last season, he managed 26 appearances and scored six goals.

WHAT DID OLAYINKA SAY?: “It is amazing and I am very grateful to the guys in the team. This is not my own success," in reference to the goal that lifted him to the top of Slavia’s European goal chart.

WHAT NEXT FOR SLAVIA? They will shift their focus to the league action where they are scheduled to take on FC Viktoria Plzen at Doosan Arena on Sunday.