Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen is in doubt for the Super Eagles’ Africa Cup of Nations semifinal against South Africa on Wednesday after missing the team’s flight to Bouaké due to injury.
Osimhen did not travel with the rest of the Nigerian squad on Monday as they flew from Abidjan to the match venue Bouaké. The Napoli forward has been struggling with an abdominal issue and the Nigerian team confirmed he stayed back for treatment.
“Team medics confirmed that he has been placed under close watch with a member of the medical team staying behind in Abidjan with him. If cleared by tomorrow morning, he will join the rest of the squad before 5 p.m.” the Nigeria Football Federation stated on Twitter.
The availability of Osimhen for the clash with Bafana Bafana remains uncertain. The 24-year-old has scored just 1 goal so far in the tournament but his tireless displays have been crucial in Nigeria’s run to the semifinals.
His potential absence would be a massive blow to Nigeria’s hopes of reaching the final. The Super Eagles are aiming for a record 4th African crown and their first since 2013.
The winner of the semifinal will face either DR Congo or Ivory Coast in the final on Sunday. The game against South Africa is a repeat of the 2000 semifinal where Nigeria emerged 2-0 victors.
Nigerian fans will hope Osimhen can recover in time to lead the Super Eagles’ attack against South Africa. But his participation remains in serious doubt as the team prepares for the crunch clash without their talismanic striker.