Super Eagles midfielder, Joe Aribo, scored his first pre-season goal for Southampton in their 2-1 loss to La Liga side Villarreal at Saint Mary’s on Saturday, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The La Liga side went ahead in the 14th minute through Yeremy Pino which they held on to going into the break.
Saints were in need of inspiration, just as they were against Monaco when three second-half goals propelled them to victory.
It was left to Aribo to provide it with a sumptuous solo goal on 64 minutes. Having showcased his ability on his home debut with an assist for Armstrong, this time the Nigeria international took matters into his own hands.
Receiving the ball midway inside his own half, he surged into opposition territory, jinked inside and then back outside to wriggle away from two, before turning Pau Torres – a regular Spain international – inside out and finishing majestically into Reina’s top corner from 10 yards.
It was a moment to savour for all inside St Mary’s, marking the arrival of a potential new hero for the home fans.
Aribo’s stock was rising further just a couple of minutes later when he headed home Mohammed Salisu’s cross, but this time the offside flag was up and Saints’ celebrations were cut short.
In the 72nd minute, Gerard Moreno scored to put Villarreal back in front which turned out out to be the winning goal.
He was replaced in the 82nd minute for Nathan Redmond. Aribo’s countryman, Samuel Chukwueze came on for goalscorer Pino in the 62nd minute.
Southampton will begin their Premier League campaign with a trip to Tottenham stadium to face Spurs on Saturday.
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