August 4, 2021

Oshoala scores as Barcelona maul Athletic Bilbao

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The 26-year-old striker scored her 17th league goal of the current season as the Blaugranes silenced Iraia Iturregi’s women away from home

Asisat Oshoala was on song as Barcelona subdued Athletic Bilbao 4-0 in Tuesday’s Primera Division encounter.

The 26-year-old was on target in the second half as the Blaugranes strolled past the Lionesses away from home.

Despite returning from international assignment a few days before the fixture, the Super Falcons captain was handed a starter’s role by coach Lluis Cortes.

However, she was played from the midfield alongside Kheira Hamraoui and Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic.

Buoyed by their 3-2 triumph over Madrid their last time out, Barcelona took the lead in 22nd courtesy of Patricia Guijarro.

The Spanish midfielder headed past goalkeeper Amaia Pena a well-taken corner kick from compatriot Mapi Leon.

Ten minutes later, debutant Berta Bou added a second goal as the visiting side went into the half time break with a two-goal lead.

Cortes’ side continued their dominance in the second half-time and that paid off in the 61st minute when the four-time African Women’s Player of the Year slotted the ball past Pena after capitalising on a shambolic defending from the hosts.

That effort was her 17th in the 2020-21 campaign, and she is now only three goals shy of her best tally in Europe.

Another defensive mishap by Athletic Bilbao saw substitute Alexia Putellas skip past her markers before wrapping up the game with ten minutes left to play.

Oshoala would be hoping to increase her goal tally when Barcelona welcome Sporting de Huelva to the Estadi Johan Cruyff on Thursday, June 24.  For Iraia Iturregi’s team, they would be hoping to return to winning ways with a trip to Deportivo de La Coruna on Sunday.

Following the Spanish side’s defeat of Chelsea in the Uefa Women’s Champions League final, the former FC Robo star became the first Nigerian as well as the first African to win the competition.

After the feat, she expressed her hope that it would inspire other young girls in Africa to chase their dreams.

“I can only thank God who has made everything possible through sheer hard work, by playing alongside this incredibly talented group that creates a lovely family atmosphere,” Oshoala told BBC Sport Africa.

“It is a great feeling and I can’t really put my emotions into words because it has been a tough journey to get here.  

“I hope this will continue to inspire other young girls in Africa and motivate everyone around the world that you can achieve whatever you put your mind to and work hard for it.”