Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign soared to new heights on Saturday, thanks to a 2-0 victory over Cameroon and a tireless performance from star striker Victor Osimhen.
While Ademola Lookman grabbed both goals, it was Osimhen’s relentless running and pressure that earned him plaudits from coach Jose Peseiro.
“He didn’t score but he had a fantastic game,” declared Peseiro.
“It is not easy to stop that guy.” Osimhen’s influence was evident in the first goal, where his tireless work created the opportunity for Lookman to finish.
“Ask the opposition defenders how much they suffered. The first goal, he created the goal. He is fantastic for our team,” says Peseiro. “Nobody can win a match alone, everybody has to play, but he is a good example.”
The victory sends Nigeria into the quarter-finals, where they face a tough test against a resurgent Angola next Friday. However, a potential cloud hangs over their celebrations as goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili was stretchered off late against Cameroon.
“It is impossible to immediately evaluate the situation,” admitted Peseiro. “We need 24-48 hours before we know, but if he cannot recover we will play with another goalkeeper.”
Despite the injury concern, Peseiro remained wary of Angola, who topped their group and dispatched Namibia 3-0 in the last 16. “They are a very good team,” he acknowledged. “I think at this moment, all the teams can win this tournament. Angola have performed very well, and if we want to beat them we must do our best, like today.”