Super Eagles star Awaziem excels in first major Super Lig test

One winning goal, two clean sheets in as many matches, and the Nigerian defender would not have asked for a better start to life in Turkey

Nigerian international Chidozie Awaziem continued his brilliant start to life in Turkey with a man-of-the-match showing at the Türk Telekom Stadium to power Alanyaspor to a stunning 1-0 win over Galatasaray.

Awaziem, who only joined the Bülent Korkmaz-tutored side in September, was the hero when he scored the winning goal against Giresunspor on the 13th – his first match for the club.

But a sterner test awaited him in Istanbul, where Galatasaray, one of the biggest clubs in the land, had not lost in six league matches and not failed to score in 13.

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The Super Eagles defender, however, passed the test in flying colours, contributing four clearances, one blocked shot, three interceptions, and three tackles to help the visitors keep a clean sheet.

Together with his centre-back partner Nemanja Milunović, they gave Galatasaray’s striker Halil Dervişoğlu no sniff of the goal until he was replaced at halftime.

Dervişoğlu’s replacement, Mostafa Mohamed, fared slightly better, but even the Egyptian forward could not muster any shot on target while seeing two of his shots blocked.

And the stage was perfectly set up for Portuguese forward Daniel João Santos Candeias to come in from the bench and net an 87th-minute winner.

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The latest win lifts Alanyaspor to eighth on the Super Lig table with nine points, a mere four points behind joint-leaders Besiktas and Trabzonspor.