Dessers on target for Feyenoord in Europa Conference League despite Super Eagles snub


Nigeria international Cyriel Dessers was once again in the bullseye as Feyenoord beat Partizan 3-1 to reach the Europa Conference League quarter-finals on Thursday.

The 27-year-old, who was overlooked by Nigeria coach Augustine Eguavoen ahead of their 2022 World Cup qualifier against Ghana later this month, opened the scoring for the home side at the Feyenoord stadium in the 45th minute.

Reiss Nelson, who is on loan from Arsenal, then made it 2-0 in the 59th minute before Partizan pulled back a goal through Ricardo Jorge Pires Gomes in the 61st minute.

However, second-half substitute Bryan Linssen secured Feyenoord victory in the Round of 16 game with a fine strike in the 90th minute. The result of the match saw Feyenoord qualify with a convincing aggregate score of 8-3 after winning the first leg 5-2 away.

Dessers, who is on loan from Belgian side Genk, has now scored in four consecutive games. While he has managed six goals in the Eredivisie so far, he has also scored five goals in the Europa Conference tournament after seven matches, making it 13 goals in all competitions.

In a recent interview, Nigerian coach Eguavoen explained why he omitted Dessers from his squad for the Black Stars match.

“There are projects. Speaking of Cyriel Dessers where does he play? NPFL? The answer is no, so I’m going to take a train from here to Holland, the answer is no, so now must be the time,” Eguavoen said.

“When I say I haven’t watched the players, I’m talking about seeing them live. On TV, of course, I am. That brings me back to Peter [Etebo] with whom I worked closely, I saw, with whom I interacted.

The first leg between the Super Eagles and the Black Stars will take place at Kumasi Yara Sports Stadium on March 25. This is after Caf confirmed the unavailability of Cape Coast Stadium to host the match.

Nigeria will then host the second leg at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja, with the winners qualifying on aggregate for the showpiece of world football.

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