Victor Osimhen has been in a race to be fit for Nigeria’s AFCON semi-final (Picture: Getty)
Napoli striker Osimhen had been struggling with abdominal discomfort and did not travel as the rest of Nigeria’s squad made their way to Bouake, Ivory Coast on Monday.
While a whole nation collectively held their breath, the 2023 African Footballer of the Year – who appeared jaded in Nigeria’s quarter-final win over Angola – remained in Abidjan under the close supervision of members of the Super Eagles’ medical team.
Nigeria manager Jose Peseiro had some fans fearing the worst as he refused to provide an update at his press conference this morning, with the 25-year-old seemingly in a race against time to be fit for one of the biggest games in the nation’s history.
But the Super Eagles’ official X account have put an end to the speculation and confirmed that Osimhen has been passed fit to feature in Wednesday’s eagerly anticipated semi-final at Bouake’s Stade de la Paix.
The attacker – who scored the equaliser in Nigeria’s opening match with Equatorial Guinea – trained as normal with the rest of his team-mates and is expected to be named in Peseiro’s starting XI.
‘Victor Osimhen has been declared fit and available for selection in the semi-final clash against South Africa on Wednesday,’ the statement read.
‘He has joined the team in Bouaké and has trained with the squad today.’
The Napoli striker has been struggling with abdominal pain (Picture: Getty)
On the eve of Nigeria’s record-extending 15th AFCON semi-final, Peseiro stressed that his side would need to perform at ‘100 per cent or more’ to beat South Africa.
‘We’re doing a good job. Good organisation and good commitment, we play like a team together,’ the Nigeria head coach told reporters at his pre-match press conference.
‘It will be a tough match against a good national team. We want to beat South Africa to reach the final.
‘For that we have to play a high-level match against a South African team who eliminated Morocco, who did a fantastic World Cup.
‘We must play 100 per cent or more to beat a very good team.’
Nigeria, the three-time AFCON champions, will face the winner of DR Congo and host nation Ivory Coast should they see of South Africa.
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