Chidozie Awaziem scored a header in his first Super Lig game to power Alanyaspor to a 1-0 victory over Giresunspor on Monday evening.
The Nigeria international joined the Turkish elite division side on loan from Portuguese club Boavista until the end of the 2021-22 campaign.
He was immediately drafted into the club’s starting XI by manager Bulent Korkmaz – partnering with Juan Fran, Nemanja Milunovic and Cristian Borja in the defence – as they hoped to return to winning ways following defeats to Altay and Hatayspor.
It took him eight minutes to make his impact felt after heading a well-taken free kick taken by Emre Akbaba past goalkeeper Onurcan Piri.
The hosts could have scored more goals, but they were made to pay for their profligacy in front of the goal.
Visiting Giresunspor stepped up their performance in the second half, albeit, they were unable to restore parity as they returned home with heads bowed low after full-time.
While Awaziem was in action from start to finish, Senegal’s Famara Diedhiou – who was named in the line-up – made way for compatriot Khouma Babacar with 15 minutes left on the clock.
Angola international Wilson Eduardo was introduced for Daniel Candeias in the 56th minute, while Mauritania’s El Mami Tetah was not considered for action.
For the visitors, Mali’s Fousseni Diabate played all 90 minutes as Senegal’s Souleymane Doukara was replaced by countryman Ibrahima Balde in the 68th minute.
Mali’s Hamidou Traore was brought in for Joey Pelupessy early in the second half while the Senegal duo of Younousse Sankhare and Mamadou Diarra were not dressed for the game.
Alanyaspor president Hasan Cavusoglu claimed he had no doubt about Awaziem’s ability to help the squad.
“Awaziem left after the Nigeria game and arrived in Alanya last night. He’s a footballer we believe will contribute to our team,” he told the media.
“It’s not easy to transfer players like that. He almost came to Besiktas recently, but he got lucky. We think we make a very good team.
“I believe that Alanyaspor will return to its old days with our new manager.
“We lost two games, but we’re still in the league. With Awaziem, the technical team and the Alanyaspor community, we will strive to bring our team to its rightful place together.
“Awaziem is now a part of Alanyaspor. We’re together until the end of the season. I think we will have a good season.”
Alanyaspor would be hoping to build on this result when they take on Galatasaray in their next fixture on September 19, while Giresunspor, who have lost their last seven games in all competitions, will aim to bounce back to winning ways versus Konyaspor.