AFCON 2023: Osimhen good to start for Eagles against South Africa – Official

Super Eagles’ forward, Victor Osimhen has been declared fit and ready to play against South Africa on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CAF Player of the Year was a major doubt for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semifinal against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.

This was after he stayed behind with a member of the Eagles medical team at the Pullman Hotel in Abidjan, while the team departed for Bouake on Monday night.

He also did not feature in the team’s last training session in Abidjan.

An official statement from the Super Eagles Media Officer, Babafemi Raji on Monday had said Osimhen was suffering from an abdominal discomfort.

Raji said that team medics confirmed that he had been placed under close watch with a member of the medical team staying behind in Abidjan with him.

He added that if cleared by Tuesday morning, Osimhen would join the rest of the squad before 5 p.m.

Raji however confirmed to NAN on Tuesday that Osimhen had rejoined the rest of the Super Eagles squad for training in the Northern Ivorian town of Bouake.

“Osimhen is fine and he is good to start against South Africa tomorrow.

“He has only on Tuesday evening been cleared to feature in the big game.

“He was part of the team’s training at the Stade Annexe, Bouake on Tuesday evening.

“Team medics performed their final tests and took the decision that he is available for the encounter after the striker arrived at the purpose-built Games Village on Tuesday afternoon,” he said.

NAN reports that the lanky forward who has been key to Nigeria’s progress in this tournament, has only scored one goal in the tournament.

But the Napoli star’s tireless performances have played a large role in Nigeria getting to the semifinals for a record-equaling 16th time in its 20 appearance.

Only seven-time champion Egypt has played as many semifinals, though the Pharaohs have played in 26 tournaments.

Wednesday’s game against the Bafana Bafana is a repeat of the semifinal in 2000, when Nigeria won 2-0 in Lagos.

Nigeria won the last of its three titles in 2013, while South Africa’s only win came in 1996.

Hosts country Cote d`Ivoire will play Congo in the other semifinal.

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