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Peseiro On Bafana Challenge And Osimhen Situation

Nigeria head coach José Peseiro is wary of the challenge South Africa pose in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations semi-final while their star striker Victor Osimhen is a doubt to be fit for the clash.

The Portuguese coach was under tremendous pressure after drawing 1-1 with Equatorial Guinea in the opening match, which was a run of one win in six games.

However, after altering the tactical system to a 3-4-3 they’ve beaten Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon and Angola en route to the Last-four, scoring five goals and conceding none.

Now South Africa awaits, who have performed beyond expectations to reach this stage, with DR Congo or the Elephants awaiting in the final of the continental showpiece this weekend.

“Our team has done a good job until now, we’re in the semi-finals, we’ve shown good spirit, good organisation, we’ve shown commitment, determination, sacrifice,” Peseiro said in the pre-match press conference.

“We’ve played like a team together and we now have a tough match against a good national team – and they [our players] want to beat South Africa to reach the final but for that, they need to play a high-level match.

“We know the capacity and the power of the opponent, they knocked Morocco out, who had a fantastic World Cup – they even knocked out my Portugal in the last World Cup, beat Brazil in a friendly match, so that’s a team with good quality [to beat at AFCON].

“But my players and I, we know what to do, but sure we must play 100% or more to beat a really good team.”

When pressed for an update on CAF African Football of the Year, Victor Osimhen, who was left behind in Abidjan due to health concerns, the 62-year-old stated they’re still unsure whether he will be ready for the game tomorrow.

“I cannot give the right answer, it’s a health problem, I think this afternoon I can know better if he can be here to play or not,” he said in a short statement about Osimhen.

Meanwhile, Nigeria journalist Colin Udoh did report that Osimhen has been cleared to travel on Tuesday afternoon.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.