The Nigerian duo of Efe Ambrose at Hibernian of Scotland and Obinna Nwobodo for Ujpest of Hungary were both on song with goals for their respective clubs in the Europa League preliminaries, from which they hope to qualify for the competition’s group stage.
While Nwobodo netted in his side’s 4-0 home victory, Ambrose turned from villain to hero, as he got one in a 6-4 away win for his team, after netting an own goal that put his side in a tensed situation.
Ambrose scored an own goal before netting at the right end for Scottish side Hibernian in a ten goal thriller which his team won 12-5 aggregate against NSI Runavik of Faroe Islands to progress to the next round of the Europa League qualifiers.
Ambrose started the game on the wrong foot when he sliced a shot into his own net after just one minute, while attempting to defend a cross into his box but his team rallied back to end the half tied at 3-3.
However, Ambrose stayed focused to give his team the lead when he hit home in the 50th minute after Runavik failed to clear the ball.
Stephen Mallan struck twice in seven minutes to put the game beyond the reach of their opponents from Faroe Islands who were beaten by Hibernian in Scotland 6-1 a week ago in the first leg clash.
Ambrose will hope to do even better for The Hibs when they take on Asteras Tripoli of Greece next week, towards securing qualifying for the group stages of the Europa League.
On his part, Nwobodo was back in the line-up for Ujpest and contributed a man of the match performance to power his side to a 4-0 win over FK Neftchi of Azerbaijan.
Neftchi won the first leg 3-1, when Nwobodo was missing from the Ujpest line up a week ago, but he proved his importance with a strong performance in the return leg.
The former Flying Eagles midfielder was on from start to finish and capped his evening with a goal in the 65th minute for the club, who were winners of the Hungarian Cup last season, which was Nwobodo’s first season at the club.
Nwobodo took a while to settle down following a battle with injury and after his transfer from Rangers International of Enugu, but was widely viewed as the Hungarian club’s best player in the second half of the past season.
Following his side’s 5-3 aggregate win and a spot in the next round of qualifiers, Nwobodo now has his eyes on reaching the group stage of the Europa League.