Super Eagles success at AFCON 2024 more than just a game for Nigeria star Osimhen

Super Eagles poster boy Victor Osimhen has reiterated his stance about not being bothered with his goal drought after he helped his side go past Angola in the quarter-final of the Africa Cup of Nations and qualify for their first semi-final since 2019. 

The win in the quarter-final at the Félix Houphouët Boigny Stadium in Abidjan was decided by just a single goal from Ademola Lookman in the 41st minute.

Later in the second half, Osimhen found the back of the net but it was ruled out for offside.

Osimhen's unrivalled passion for Super Eagles

After the game, CAF TV caught up with Osimhen as he made his way back into the Nigerian dressing room, where he was patted on the back by one of the assistant coaches, Finidi George, who was an AFCON winner for Nigeria in 1994. 

He then was received by Alex Iwobi and got emotional in the scenes captured.

See the video below:

Super Eagles more important than goals for Osimhen

Speaking to Canal Plus Afrique after the game, Osimhen said he's focused on collective success and not on individual acclaim.

“Those who know me, they know I don’t put myself before the team. If my goal comes, they come, I want to help the team with goals of course, but if I am not scoring I am defending. If I am not defending I am fighting for them,” said the Napoli forward.

“I just want my team to be in the right mentality to win this tournament. It is a big prize for us, as an individual and also as a country. So I think we have the right mentality to make sure we bring the trophy home,” Osimhen added.

Osimhen's work rate for the team in the competition has received a lot of attention from the global football audience, with plenty of praise for the Nigerian forward, who was later substituted in the game late on.

The striker, who has been linked to big European outfits like Chelsea and Real Madrid next summer, also said that he’s really looking forward to helping the country emerge champions come February 11 in Abidjan. 

“We had to make sure we got into this competition with the right mentality, we have the quality, we have the squad to win games and to reach the final for me,” he continued.

Osimhen Super Eagles
Photo by Icon Sport

Simon backs Osimhen to score goals for Super Eagles

Osimhen has yet to find the back of the net since scoring against Equatorial Guinea in a 1-1 draw in the group stages of AFCON 2024.

The quarter-final Man of the Match, Moses Simon, also chipped in on Osimhen's lack of goals and said that it's not even a topic within the camp.

“The mood is very good in the camp. We don’t even think about this and I believe he doesn’t think about scoring as well,” said the Nantes forward.

“All he thinks about is victory. If he has the opportunity, he will score, but the important thing to say is we all just want to win, and we really do not care who scores.”

His performances against Cameroon and Angola were phenomenal, and that earned him special recognition from the spectators and also got the global football world talking.

Osimhen will be hoping to lead the line for Nigeria in the semi-final against either Cape Verde or South Africa in Bouake on February 7 with the belief that he can push his team into the final of the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.

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Rotimi Akindele

Rotimi Akindele is a Sports Journalist with almost two decades' experience. He is a TV and radio host, commentator and writer who has covered major sporting events across the globe. Akindele's sports content has been listened to and read by a global audience. He is a well-known figure within Nigeria and the African football scene.