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UEL/UECL: Chukwueze scores, Uzoho can’t stop Sociedad as United win, Arsenal lose

Samuel Chukwueze was on the scoresheet tonight for Villarreal in their 2-2 home draw against Hapoel Beer Sheva in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

The Super Eagles forward scored the first goal under Quique Setien, who replaced Aston Villa-bound Unai Emery as Villarreal manager on Tuesday.

Chukwueze’s goal, his second in the Conference League, drew Villarreal level in the 57th minute after the Israeli visitors had taken a shock lead.

Arnaut Danjuma, the Netherlands forward with Nigerian heritage, shot Villarreal into the lead on 70 minutes but Hapoel Beer Sheva equalised nine minutes later to force the Spanish side to their first draw of Group C.

The point was enough to confirm Villarreal as group winners as they cruised into the round of 16.

Other Nigerian players were involved in the Conference League tonight, with Super Eagles forward Peter Olayinka playing the full game for Slavia Prague in their 1-0 win at Ballkani, while Ahmed Musa was an unused substitute for Sivasspor in their 3-0 home win over CFR Cluj.

In Group H, Kehinde Oyewusi scored both goals for Zalgiris Vilnius in their 2-2 draw at Basel, while former junior Nigeria international Yusuf Otubanjo started for Pyunik in their 2-1 defeat at Slovan Bratislava.

In the Europa League, Super Eagles goalkeeper Francis Uzoho was in goal for Omonia Nicosia as they lost 2-0 at home to Real Sociedad.

While Uzoho’s side are bottom of Group E with no points, Real Sociedad are on top with 15 points having won all their five matches.

In the same group, Manchester United kept up their pursuit of a first-place finish and a spot in the round of 16 by beating FC Sheriff 3-0 at Old Trafford through goals from Diogo Dalot, Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Moldovan side Sheriff had in their starting line-up two Nigerian forwards, Rasheed Akanbi and Iyayi Atiemwen.

The group’s winners will emerge next week when Manchester United visit Real Sociedad. United need to beat Real Sociedad by at least a two-goal margin to upstage the Spaniards.

In the early kick-off in Group A, Arsenal were handed their first defeat in the competition this season by PSV, who won 2-0 in The Netherlands with Joey Veerman and Luuk De Jong scoring the goals.

Arsenal still top the group, with PSV second, ahead of Bodo/Glimt and FC Zurich, who have both been eliminated.

In other Europa League clashes tonight, AS Roma defeated HJK Helsinki 2-1 in Finland to keep alive their hope of finishing second behind Group C winners Real Betis, who sealed top spot with a 1-0 win at Ludogorets.

In a Group G clash, Super Eagles forward Moses Simon was a 67th minute substitute for Nantes, who defeated Qarabag 2-1, while Nigerian striker Victor Boniface was not among the goals in Union Saint Gilloise’s 2-0 win at Malmo in Group D.

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