Carabao Cup: Different strokes for Dennis, Okoye on Forest, Watford debuts

Super Eagles stars Emmanuel Dennis and Maduka Okoye experienced mixed fortunes tonight in the second round of the Carabao Cup as they both made their first official appearances for their new clubs.

While forward Dennis made an assist on his Nottingham Forest debut as they defeated Grimsby Town 3-0, goalkeeper Okoye was beaten twice as Watford crashed out.

Dennis, who was on from the start, played a key role in the opening goal for the visitors, delivering a cross from the right that Ryan Yates volleyed home in the 18th minute.

The Nigeria forward went close to scoring himself in the 62nd minute but his shot after dribbling past his marker went narrowly wide.

He was replaced by his international teammate Taiwo Awoniyi in the 75th minute with Forest 2-0 up.

Awoniyi made an immediate impact, cutting in from the left and squaring for Cafu, who fed Sam Surridge for Forest’s third goal in the 78th minute.

Okoye and William Troost-Ekong had contrasting fortunes to Dennis and Awoniyi however.

The Super Eagles goalkeeper was making his Watford debut while the centre-back was making his first start and second appearance of the season for the Hornets as they were dumped out of the cup 2-0 by Milton Keynes Dons at Vicarage Road.

At Highbury Stadium, Nigeria midfielder Alex Iwobi was in the starting line-up as Everton secured their first win of the season with a 1-0 victory over their hosts Fleetwood Town to progress to the next round.

Demarai Gray scored the only goal of the encounter in the 28th minute.

At the JobServe Community Stadium, Nigeria international Frank Onyeka was in Brentford’s starting line-up and played for 56 minutes as the Premier League side defeated their hosts Colchester United 2-0.

Super Eagles midfielder Joe Aribo was introduced in the 66th minute for Mohamed Elyounoussi as Southampton eased past their hosts Cambridge United 3-0 at Abbey Stadium.

At Edgely Park, Leicester City scraped past Stockport County 3-1 on penalties after full-time finished 0-0.

Super Eagles forward Kelechi Iheanacho played all 90 minutes but did not take part in the penalty shootout, while Wilfred Ndidi was an unused substitute.

In another Carabao Cup encounter involving a club with a Super Eagles player, centre-back Semi Ajayi was given a rest by West Brom as they lost 1-0 at Derby County, courtesy of Louie Sibley’s 15th minute strike.

In other second round fixtures tonight, Fulham were beaten 2-0 at Crawley Town, Aston Villa defeated Bolton Wanderers 4-1, Bournemouth advanced past Norwich City 5-3 on penalties after full-time ended 2-2, and Wolverhampton Wanderers defeated Preston North End 2-1.

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