In an exciting pre-season match, young Nigerian forward George Ilenikhena made an impressive debut for Belgian champions Royal Antwerp. The team faced Lierse and managed to secure a 1-1 draw.
At just 16 years old, Ilenikhena joined Antwerp from French club Amiens in a record-breaking €6 million transfer. His talent and potential have already made waves in the football world.
With only 20 minutes left in the game, Ilenikhena, who came on as a substitute in the second half, showed his composure and skill by converting a penalty. This goal was the result of a foul committed against his teammate Glodi Mbuyi-Mbayo inside the box.
However, Lierse was not to be outdone. Just eight minutes later, they were also awarded a penalty, which they successfully converted to level the game at 1-1. It was a thrilling encounter between two talented teams.
Looking ahead, Ilenikhena and his Antwerp teammates are gearing up for another pre-season game against Greek club AEK Athens on Friday, July 7. This match will provide them with another opportunity to fine-tune their tactics and build team chemistry before the start of the official season.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, to Nigerian parents, Ilenikhena moved to France at the age of three and grew up in Antony, Hauts-de-Seine. He began his football journey at the amateur Antony Football Evolution and eventually made his way to Amiens, a club that had recently been relegated to Ligue 2, for the 2021-22 season.
During his time at Amiens, Ilenikhena showcased his immense talent by scoring an impressive 24 goals for the under-17 national side. He also made his mark in the Coupe Gambardella, both playing and scoring in the prestigious competition. These impressive performances quickly caught the attention of big clubs in France and abroad, despite him being just 15 years old at the time.
Ilenikhena’s debut goal for Antwerp is a promising start to what could be a bright future for the young Nigerian forward. Football enthusiasts and fans alike will be eagerly following his progress as he continues to make his mark in the world of football.
The article was originally published on Sporty9ja. No