Super Eagles’ best yet to come, says Peseiro
• Osimhen’s juggernaut thrills Weah
Super Eagles’ Coach, Jose Peseiro, has described the senior national team as work in progress, saying the team’s fighting spirit will place it above peers in the near future.
Speaking on Nigeria’s hard-fought 3-2 victory over Sierra Leone in Liberia on Sunday, Peseiro said the team’s fighting spirit came to the fore when it seemed that the Leone Stars would upset the Eagles in the game played on an ‘unfriendly pitch.’
“We are still working on the team and by the end of the exercise, hopefully, before the Africa Cup of Nations, people will start seeing the best of the team,” he said.
Victor Osimhen gave Nigeria a 2-0 lead at the break, but Sierra Leone drew 2-2 soon after with Mustapha Bundu and Augustus Kargbo scoring late on to make for a nervous ending. However, Kelechi Iheanacho came up with the winner a dramatic fashion to send Nigeria to Cote d’Ivoire 2023.
Peseiro commended his players for their fighting spirit, as they maintained a two-point gap to Guinea-Bissau at the top of the group.
“Our team qualified. It was a hard match. Our team never gave up. We fought till the end,” Peseiro said in the post-match press conference.
“Sierra Leone did a fantastic job. In the first half, we created seven to eight clear opportunities and only scored twice in the second half.”
But, you have to win. It was a very good match.
“Our team is the best in this group. I think we did a good job today against a good team. It was a very hard match. I am very happy with my players,” he said.
Meanwhile, former World Footballer of the Year, George Opong Weah, who is the Liberian President, has described Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen, as the quintessential juggernaut difficult to contain.
Weah was one of the dignitaries in the presidential box, as Osimhen scored two goals to give Nigeria a 3-2 victory over Sierra Leone. Following his excellent season in which he scored 25 league goals to steer SC Napoli to their first Italian Serie A title in 33 years, President Weah, the 1995 World, European and African Footballer of the Year had penned a personal letter to Osimhen asking him to keep working hard and breaking new grounds.
On Sunday, Weah could not stop singing Osimhen’s praises. “That is what I call a striker. Good positioning always. Very athletic and knows where to be each time the ball is coming. He is so strong and a fighter par excellence,” Weah said.
The Nigerian forward is now the leading scorer in the qualifying series with seven goals, and has now racked up an impressive tally of 17 goals in 25 matches for Nigeria at senior level.
Osimhen’s seven goals in this qualifying campaign include the one goal he scored against Sierra Leone in Abuja in June 2022 to eventually give Nigeria a 2-1 win and three points on the first day of the series, and four of the 10 goals against Sao Tome and Principe in Agadir, Morocco few days later, on a day Nigeria set a new international win-record.
Hosts, Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, Algeria, South Africa, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Egypt, Zambia, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Mali are the 14 countries that have qualified for Cote d’Ivoire 2023, with the remaining 10 to emerge in September. Nigeria will host group whipping boys, Sao Tome and Principe in a purely academic exercise in September.
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