Leicester City of England midfielder, Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi got 90 minutes of action under his boots for The Foxes against SSC Napoli of Italy in the UEFA Eurpa League, but his efforts could not save his side from losing 3-2.
It came on a night Ndidi was the only Nigerian player to feature in the encounter, as Liecester’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Ademola Lookman both soent 90 minutes on the bench, while Napoli’s Victor Osimhen is still out with a facial injury.
SportsDayOnline.com reports that Ndidi edned with six points over ten on his personal scorecard, but his frenetic efforts for the English Premier League side were not enough, as Leicester went crashing out.
A report by Sky Sports read in part: An end-to-end encounter saw four goals shared in the first half in Naples, where the hosts led 2-0 courtesy of strikes from Adam Ounas and Eljif Elmas.
However, the Foxes responded through Jonny Evans and academy graduate Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s first goal for the club.
Elmas struck again early in the second half and, despite Brendan Rodgers’ side having chances to get themselves level once more, it proved decisive.
Leicester began the night top of Group C, but they ended it in third place and headed into the Europa Conference League after their defeat was compounded by Spartak Moscow’s 1-0 win at Legia Warsaw, with the Russian club topping the table.
Much of the pre-match talk was of Leicester having to leave behind seven players through illness. Rodgers confirmed some of the unnamed players had tested positive for coronavirus, while others had been left at home as a precaution.
But it was a strong Foxes team that took to the field, which included Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans returning from a five-match absence with a calf problem.
Napoli were also ravaged by injury, with boss Luciano Spalletti without Osimhen, Kalidou Koulibaly, Lorenzo Insigne and Fabian Ruiz, as well as youth team graduates, Frank Anguissa and Stanislav Lobotka.
Leicester made a bright start and should have taken an early lead. Dewsbury-Hall charged down the left flank all the way to the by-line and his far-post cross was met by Timothy Castagne inside the six-yard box, but goalkeeper Alex Meret somehow made a smothering save on his goal line.
Napoli went straight up the other end and scored. A mistake by Tielemans, although the midfielder was not helped by the pass from Caglar Soyuncu, resulted in Ounas finding the corner of the net with a low shot across Kasper Schmeichel after four minutes.
The Foxes looked like they might be handed a dramatic reprieve in Warsaw when Legia were awarded a penalty deep into injury time. An equaliser would have seen Leicester go through despite their defeat, but the spot-kick was saved.