AFCON: Osimhan’s blow to Nigeria ahead of semi-final

African Footballer of the Year Victor Osimhan will miss Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations semi-final against South Africa tomorrow due to a groin complaint.

The striker did not travel with the squad from Abidjan, where they beat Angola in the quarter-finals on Friday, to Bouake for the first of Wednesday’s last four matches.

A statement from the Nigerian Football Federation said: “Team medics have confirmed that he is being kept under close observation with a member of the medical team in Abidjan. If cleared by tomorrow morning. He will join the rest of the squad before 5 pm.” said.

Osimhan’s absence will be a big blow for Nigeria, for whom he has done very well in the tournament with his impressive work rate.

The Bouake clash will be followed by the second semi-final in Abidjan on Wednesday, with hosts Ivory Coast taking on the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Ivorians, despite a poor start to the tournament, including an embarrassing 4-0 group stage defeat by tiny Equatorial Guinea, reached the semi-finals, supported by a home crowd.

They will once again take to the field at the Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium in Abidjan, where they came off a timid performance in the group stage but now look rejuvenated after wins over Senegal and neighbors Mali in the knockout rounds. are.

“We were at the bottom of a hole after losing to Equatorial Guinea. We had to wait for the (remaining) group matches (to finish) to know if we qualified, which we did. After enduring everything. , we are not afraid of anything anymore,” said influential Ivorian midfielder Siko Fofana.

After the Equatorial Guinea match, we were insulted and felt lonely. But we managed to get through. Champions always manage to move on,” he added.

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