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Soccer News of Friday, 22 September 2023


Peseiro banks on Osimhen for AFCON glory

Victor Osimhen Victor Osimhen

Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro, is banking on Victor Osimhen’s scoring form to lead the three-time African champions to a fourth African Cup of Nations title in Ivory Coast, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

Osimhen finished as the top scorer for the second AFCON qualifying series in a row after he scored 10 goals as the Eagles sealed another berth at Africa’s biggest football showpiece.

The Eagles booked their place at the tournament after finishing top of Group A with an impressive 15 points from six games.

During the 2021 AFCON qualifiers, the 24-year-old scored six goals for Nigeria as they qualified for the tournament hosted by Cameroon.

“He (Osimhen) finished the qualifying series with 10 goals and is the top scorer,” Peseiro told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Now we hope it will help us win the Africa Cup of Nations (in Ivory Coast). It was the usual Victor, happy and smiling, it’s a win-win for everyone.

“I was afraid he could come sad and instead I found him unleashed. He worked and showed beautiful things. He played fantastic games, scoring three goals against Sao Tome & Principe.”

Other countries in the pot are Cameroon, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana and South Africa.

Nigeria alongside defending champions Senegal and North African powerhouse Egypt as well as World Cup semi-finalists Morocco are among the pre-tournament favourites.

Despite several tempting offers from top clubs in Europe and Saudi Arabia, Peseiro was also delighted to see Osimhen remain at Napoli.

The Nigerian hitman who has two years remaining on his Napoli contract was linked with a move away from the Serie A club this summer after leading the Partenopei to their first league title in 33 years last season after scoring 22 goals in 27 topflight matches.

Manchester United, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Al-Hilal were among the clubs keen to sign the Nigerian striker.

“At first he (Osimhen) thought about leaving, but then he decided to stay and do his best in Napoli,” Peseiro continued.