Popular Manager Defends Onyedika From Social Media Attack Following Fiorentina’s Loss

Club Brugge’s head coach Nicky Hayen steps in for the defense of midfielder Raphael Onyedika who was sent off against Fiorentina last Thursday; npflupdates.com reports.

Onyedika started but couldn’t finish the first leg semi-final Europa League clash against Fiorentina in Florence last Thursday. And the reason being that he was giving marching orders after receiving his second booking of the evening.

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Raphael Onyedika is the current highest goalscorer in Belgium's championship play-off
Raphael Onyedika

The former FC Midtjylland midfielder, was cautioned in the 58th minute after his used his elbow against Fiorentina forward Andrea Belloti.

And few minutes after, he was dismissed after receiving his second yellow card of the game.

The 23-year-old FC Ebedei graduate will now miss the second leg at the Jay Breydel stadion, Brugge, next Thursday.

Following the red card, the Italians capitalised on their numerical advantage to snap a late winning goal(3-2).

Reacting to the red card, club’s captain Van Hanaken argued that Onyedika was wrong jumping into such a challenge at a part of the field far away from danger.

What was said about Raphael Onyedika

“I have mixed feelings about that late third goal for the Italians. Especially after the red card for Onyedika, you realize that it will be a matter of survival.

“And for a long time it looked like we would succeed, but then you still get that late goal in extremis and that is always sour of course,” Hanaken said.

In addition, the playmaker reiterated that Onyedika would have avoided the second yellow, if he were aware of his surroundings.

“The red card for Onyedika was avoidable, because at that place on the pitch you don’t have to tackle like that.

“By the way, I don’t know if he knew he had already run into yellow,” he added.

Defending the Super Eagles player, coach Hayen in a post-match presser, revealed Onyedika didn’t intentionally meant harm.

Raphael in action.

Also, he applauded the Nigerian for putting in his best to ensure his side emerged victorious, though the reverse later became the case.

“The (Onyedika ) player himself did not know that he already had yellow and you could see from his reaction that he was surprised,” Hayen was quoted by Daily Post Nigeria.

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“He did not know that he already had yellow and I will also defend him in that regard. He is, in that respect more intelligent and otherwise he would not have used that tackle in that way.

“It shows the aggressiveness of the team and that we do not want to give away any gifts and that is why I say it was unfortunate.” Nicky Hayen.

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