Nigerian players abroad: Emmanuel Dennis grabs brace in Club Brugge’s big win against Royal Antwerp

Emmanuel Dennis put in a man-of-the-match performance as Club Brugge saw off Royal Antwerp in a Jupiler Pro League game on Sunday.

The Nigerian scored twice to help the hosts defeat Antwerp 5-1 and temporarily move within four points of leaders Genk.

Dennis, whose season has been blighted by injuries, scored his first goals since the 3-0 home win against Standard Liege on December 2.

Barely a minute after giving Brugge the lead against Liege, Dennis was forced off the pitch with an injury. He missed the league game against Waasland-Beveren and the Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid, but returned to play a full 90 minutes in the goalless draw at Kortrijk last week.

On Sunday, he scored the opener when his cross evaded everyone in the middle and nestled in the far corner.

Siebe Schrijvers doubled the lead with a clever lob five minutes before the break, and Mats Rits made it 3-0 nine minutes after the break, tapping in after the goalkeeper spilled a shot. Dennis was involved in the buildup. After dispossessing a defender, the 21-year-old found a team-mate. The initial effort was stopped by the keeper but Rits tucked home the rebound.

On 65 minutes, Dennis scored his second of the evening, rising to nod in Hans Vanaken cornerkick to take his league tally to five for the season.

Jelle Van Damme cut one back in the 84th minute, but a Vanaken penalty three minutes later restored the four-goal advantage.