Opara on target as 10-man Lugano edge Luzern

Nigeria defender Lucky Opara finally opened his goal diary for Lugano on Friday night.

The highly rated lad popped up with a goal as 10-man Lugano beat Luzern 2-1 in the Swiss Super League final matchday at the Swissporarena.

Coach Maurizio Jacobacci listed Opara at left back in a 4-3-1-2 formation and he repaid the faith with a classy performance.

Marcis Oss netted the opener through Reto Ziegler’s assist shortly after half hour.

Lucky Opara, 21, registered his name on the scoresheet in the 57th minute from Olivier Custodio’s assist.

Oss was sent off in the 90th minute of the highly explosive game.

Opara began his professional career in Latvia with Spartaks Jūrmala, before joining FC Lugano on loan on 22 January 2021.

He made his professional debut with FC Lugano in a 3-0 Swiss Super League win over FC Sion on 4 March 2021.

The Nigerian is a typical full-back and can play both on the left and right sides. He is not the modern-day wing-back (like Dani Alves or Alex Sandro, for example); he is quite the safe full-back, that never (or seldom) makes a mistake in defensive positioning or transitions but can still offer a lot of quality and power in attacking manoeuvres. Opara is an obviously intelligent player, as it is not usual for a 21-year-old player to position himself so correctly in all moments of the game, whether it is in situations of attacking build-up, midfield ball possession, high-pressure or sitting-deep defensive attitude or even quick attacking or defensive transitions.

The 21-year-old enjoys taking part in the attacking movements of the team, provided he’s got the confidence and the serenity, making use of his physical capacity and crossing ability to help create scoring chances, but without ever compromising the team’s defensive security. He enjoys running with the ball across the whole length of the pitch and either cross to one of his colleagues, which he does with quite a remarkable precision both with the right and left foot, or try to score himself.

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