UEFA Europa League Matchday 2: Our African Fantasy Five
The second best European club competition commenced last Thursday and we witnessed some stellar performances by individuals who have been in and out of their teams since the beginning of the 2018/19 season. These soccer players will be looking to continue their form into Matchday 2. But before we pop some popcorn and get ready for the second round, let's look at the five African players that stood out in the competition last week. Here's FirstTouch’s UEFA Europa League Fantasy 5. We have one goalkeeper, one defender, two midfielders and a striker up top in a diamond formation.
It is quite unfortunate that no African goalkeeper was in action on Matchday 1. Therefore, this position will be reserved for a goalkeeper that pushes into the Starting XI of their respective clubs and prove their worth on Matchday 2.
Joseph Aidoo (Centre Back) - Sarpsborg vs Genk
The Ghanaian international plays for Genk in the Belgian division. He was a starter in the UEFA Europa League match between Genk and Malmo FF. He helped his team keep a clean sheet against the Swedish giants. Who would not want to have a defender that won 4 arial duels, cleared the ball 6 times out of danger, and made 3 crucial interceptions. The 23-year old was a class above the rest on Matchday 1.
Iwobi (Left Midfield) - Qarabag FK vs Arsenal
Of course, the Naija boy deserves plaudits for his man of the match performance for Arsenal against Vorskla Poltava. He provided an assist for Aubameyang to score his second goal of the season on the 32nd minute. Iwobi created chances that went bagging as his teammates failed to finish off their opponents. The young midfielder was a constant menace on the left flank and would probably have been at the very top of the Power Rankings if the Europa League had a fantasy team of the week.
Ismaila Sarr (Right Midfield) - Astana vs Rennes
Fantasy football is based on efficiency and results as opposed to personal affection towards individual soccer players. This warrants a place for Sarr in the team on the right. The Senegalese international scored a stunner for Stade Rennais which is goal of the season contender. He produced the goods and would definitely be in our fantasy team heading into matchday 2.
Aubameyang (Centre Forward) - Qarabag FK vs Arsenal
Another Arsenal player to make it to the team. Well deserved if you ask me. The Gabonese international was hungry for goals against Ukrainian side, Vorskla Poltava. He scored a brace on the night and almost scored made it three had it not been for a shot that hit the upright. We would be confident having a world class striker like Pierre Emerick Aubameyang leading the line in my UEFA Europa League team.
(Super Sub) Mbwana Samatta - Sarpsborg vs Genk
Some special mention should be reserved for the Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta who plays for Genk. The forward scored one of the goals that sealed a 2-0 victory against Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s old club. Had it not been for the Aubameyang, Samatta would be leading the line in my UEFA Europa League Fantasy 5 side. Oh maybe we could play two strikers with no goalkeeper, if that were possible.
Which Africans would make it into your Matchday 2 Europa League Fantasy Five?