Super Eagles stars Ndidi, Iheanacho feature in unique 135-minute game

Super Eagles stars Ndidi, Iheanacho feature in unique 135-minute game
Credit: Icon Sport

Two Super Eagles stars, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho, were part of a unique friendly match for Leicester City against Belgian side OH Leuven.

Preseason is already in full swing for the top sides around Europe with the best teams looking to accomplish the goal they set going into the 2023/2024 campaign.

As Leicester City continued their preparations if the new season, they played a friendly match against Belgian side OH Leuven. This match was not played at the Kingpower stadium, but instead at the Foxes’ training ground. 

The friendly took up a unique format where it was a game of three halves instead of the traditional two half contest. There are three 45-minute halves that made the game last for a total of 135 minutes.  

This type of friendly was possible because of the location of the match as it allowed both teams to field different starting lineups for each of the three halves. 

The match ended in a 4-2 win for Leicester City over their Belgian counterparts over the three halves. The Foxes may have had a two goal margin at the end but their opponents didn't make it smooth sailing. 

OH Leuven opened the scoring with Ezechiel Banzuzi getting the first goal of the match after only four minutes. The Foxes got their equalizer four minutes later through Jamie Vardy, whose header from a Dennis Praet cross beat Nordin Jackers in the OHL net.

Super Eagles stars get their turn

Dennis Praet made the score 2-1 in the second half with a shot that flew past the keeper into the top corner. In the third and final 45 minutes, Leicester’s Nigerian duo, Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi were subbed on at the same time. Mark Albrighton extended the lead to 3-1 in the final half of the game.

Leuven did pull another goal back to make it 3-2 but Kasey McAteer made it 4-2 shortly after to close out the game for Leiecester. 

Last season did not go according to plan as they were relegated from the English Premier League. Their 19th placed finish came as a shock to many as the Foxes were on the verge of playing UEFA Champions League football just two seasons ago. 

Now in the championship, they will be looking to bounce back to the Premier League as fast as possible and the Nigerian duo of Ndidi and Iheanacho may be key for them if they are to return to the Premier League. 

The futures of both players are still unclear, though as they have been linked with moves away from the Championship side. 

Wilfred Ndidi has been linked with Italian Champions, SSC Napoli and may have the chance to play with another international teammate in Victor Osimhen. 

Iheanacho on the other hand, has been strongly linked with Nottingham Forest in the past. Everton, Besiktas, Burnley and some Saudi clubs have also been rumored to want the 27-year-old attacker. 

This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago