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Uncertainty Surrounds Victor Osimhen’s Participation in Nigeria’s Semi-Final Clash

by Thomaz Oseghale
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Uncertainty Surrounds Victor Osimhen's Participation in Nigeria Semi-Final Clash1

The Nigerian camp is gripped with anxiety as they await news on the availability of their star striker, Victor Osimhen, for their upcoming semi-final against South Africa.

Osimhen has been dealing with an “abdominal issue” and was unable to join the team at their training camp in Bouake, further fueling speculation about his participation in the crucial match.

Head coach José Peseiro has provided little clarity on Osimhen’s situation, stating that he will have a better understanding by Wednesday afternoon.

The absence of Osimhen could be a significant blow to Nigeria, considering his goal-scoring prowess and energetic high-pressing style.

However, Peseiro remains optimistic, highlighting the talented pool of attackers at his disposal, including Kelechi Iheanacho, Paul Onuachu, and Terem Moffi, who are capable of filling any void left by Osimhen.

The Nigeria Football Association released a statement explaining that Osimhen’s abdominal discomfort necessitated his stay in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, for medical evaluation. The exact nature and cause of the discomfort remain unclear, but Osimhen appeared fatigued when he was substituted in the quarter-final win over Angola.

In contrast, South Africa has confirmed the absence of Thapelo Maseko, a talented 20-year-old forward, for the rest of the tournament due to a muscle injury.

Maseko plays for Mamelodi Sundowns and sustained the injury late in the game against Cape Verde.

Coach Hugo Broos mentioned that replacing Maseko was not feasible due to visa and flight issues, and the team will work with the existing squad to overcome this setback.

As both teams prepare for the crucial semi-final clash, the uncertainty surrounding Osimhen’s availability adds an extra layer of tension.

Nigerian fans anxiously await news on their star striker, hoping for a positive outcome that will bolster their chances of success in the tournament.

This article was updated 3 weeks ago

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