Super Eagles winger, Henry Onyekuru, was highly instrumental in Galatasaray’s 3-0 win over Istanbul rivals, Basaksehir, scoring a goal and winning a penalty in just his first start.
The 23-year-old opened the scoring in the 45th minute via a powerful header from defender Ryan Dock’s cross.
It was his 3rd goal in 2 games since returning back to the club where he won the only silverware in his young career. He has now scored as many goals in his last two games as he managed in his last past 25 games.
Basaksehir had missed the chance to go ahead in the 22nd minute, when Guilano’s weak penalty was comfortably saved by Muslera.
Onyekuru was brimming with confidence, as shown in the early minutes of the first half, when he took out four players in a skillful show of nifty footwork. He completed a game-high 5 dribbles in the first half alone, adding 4 more in the second half, totalling a game-high 9 dribbles. This was the highest amount of take-ons he has completed in his career in a single game.
Ryan Donk turned scorer in the second half, powering home a fine header from Belhanda corner to settle the home team’s nerves.
Onyekuru’s influence was exerted once again in added time, when his legwork bamboozled Enzo Crivelli who fouled him in the penalty box, conceding a penalty which was converted by substitute Mostafa Mohammed.
Also on show were Nigerian midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Okechukwu Azubuike both donning the colours of Galatasaray and Basaksehir respectively.
Etebo was withdrawn at halftime as one of two tactical changes while his compatriot went the distance, making 2 tackles and 3 interceptions the second highest in the game.
Onyekuru’s masterclass comes days before “the biggest game in Turkey,” The Eternal Derby between Galatasaray and Fenerbahce. He is no stranger to a game of this magnitude, having decided the outcome in his last appearance against Fenerbahce.