Thursday, April 18, 2024

Peseiro Names The Nigerian Star Whose Absence Cost The Super Eagles Glory At Afcon 2023

Wilfred Ndidi, Taiwo Awoniyi, Victor Boniface, and Umar Sadiq all missed the continental championships due to injury

Former Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro has expressed regret that Bayer Leverkusen forward Victor Boniface missed the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.

Several of Nigeria’s elite players were absent at the 34th edition of the continental championships, including Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi and Taiwo Awoniyi.

Interestingly, Victor Boniface and Umar Sadiq were almost certain to feature at the AFCON before injuries struck in the eleventh hour, forcing coach Peseiro to call up late replacements.

The Super Eagles still excelled despite the absentees, with goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali impressive in goal, William Troost-Ekong solid in defence, Frank Onyeka relentless in midfield, Ademola Lookman decisive in attack, while Victor Osimhen fought like a beast as Nigeria reached the final of the tournament. 

However, the Super Eagles failed to soar in the title decider, succumbing to the superior firepower of host country, Cote d’Ivoire. 

Looking back at the AFCON, Peseiro is convinced that the Super Eagles would have lifted the title if Boniface had not suffered the injury that ruled him of the continent’s biggest football festival.

Boniface scored ten goals and added seven assists in only 16 Bundesliga games ahead of the AFCON. 

Highlighting how Boniface was oozing with quality and confidence in the weeks before the AFCON, Peseiro insists the Bayer Leverkusen would have been the difference-maker for the Super Eagles.

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