Nigerian Left Back Sanusi Scores to Clinch Portugese League for FC Porto

Nigerian Left Back Sanusi Scores to Clinch Portugese League for Porto (News Central TV)

On Saturday, Nigerian left-back Zaidu Sanusi scored the winning goal for Porto in a 1-0 victory over arch-rivals Benfica.

With one round of games remaining, Zaidu scored on a counter-attack minutes into stoppage time to put Porto nine points ahead.

The victory was Porto’s 30th league title in Portugal. Sporting Lisbon, last year’s champions, will finish second, with Benfica third.

The first half ended goalless and it was Benfica who were celebrating, albeit for a few seconds, after the interval when red-hot striker Darwin Nunez put them ahead but the goal was ruled out by VAR.

Both teams then went for each other’s jugular but the deadlock was not broken until deep into extra time when.

With six minutes added on, the 24-year-old Super Eagles defender produced a neat finish when he met Pepe’s cross in the Benfica box for his third goal of the season which turned out to be the title-clincher.

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“The title has a huge importance for us, especially winning it against Benfica who are our biggest rival. And it is really special to be celebrating here once again after a couple of years. It is just excellent”, said Porto FC supporter, Fernando Ribal.

Porto set a new Portuguese league unbeaten record of 58 games before losing their first league match of the season to Braga two weeks ago.

Benfica, who reached the Champions League quarter-finals this season, will now compete in the competition’s qualifying phase.

When Porto faces Tondela, who finished 16th in the league, in the Portuguese Cup final on May 22, they will have the chance to complete a double.

Born in Jega, Kebbi, Northwest Nigeria, 19-year-old Sanusi signed with Gil Vicente F.C. of the Portuguese Primeira Liga in 2016. In January 2017, he was loaned to third division club SC Mirandela.

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Sanusi reached an agreement to join C.D. Santa Clara on 16 March 2019, with the deal being made effective on 1 July. He made his Portuguese top-flight debut on September 15 that year, coming on as a late substitute in a 2nil home win against Moreirense FC. He scored his first goal in the competition on June 23, 2020, in an away victory over S.L. Benfica which marked the Azoreans’ first-ever at the Estádio da Luz.

Sanusi made his debut for the Nigeria national team on October 9, 2020, in a 1nil friendly defeat against Algeria in Klagenfurt. He earned his first official cap the following month, in the home draw with Sierra Leone for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

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At the finals in Cameroon, the team were eliminated in the last 16 by Tunisia; manager Augustine Eguavoen was criticised for ordering Sanusi and right-back Ola Aina not to attack before they were losing with ten men.

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