Victor Osimhen, crowned Man of the Match after Nigeria’s 1-0 victory over Ivory Coast, shed light on the Super Eagles’ tactical surprise that clinched the crucial win.
In a tense battle at the Alassanne Quattara Stadium, the Super Eagles emerged victorious thanks to William Troost-Ekong’s penalty after Osimhen himself was brought down in the box.
But beyond the spot-kick, it was Nigeria’s midfield dominance that stole the show, a secret weapon revealed by Osimhen himself, Footballrover reports.
While speaking to reporters during a press conference in Abidjan, the Napoli star admitted the game was difficult.
He acknowledged Cote d’Ivoire’s strength but highlighted the importance of their own tactical precision for the victory.
“The plan was to wait for them in midfield and capitalise on their mistakes. Obviously, it worked well for us,” he claimed.
The Super Eagles’ tactical masterclass, spearheaded by coach Jose Peseiro, proved highly effective.
The Elephants, despite their home advantage, struggled to penetrate the disciplined Nigerian midfield, leaving them vulnerable to counter-attacks.
This approach not only kept Ivory Coast at bay but also created crucial scoring opportunities.
Osimhen, a constant threat throughout the game, played a pivotal role in executing the plan.
His tireless work ethic and intelligent movement dispossessed Ivorian defenders, creating space for his teammates to exploit.
While he didn’t find the net himself, his contribution to the midfield dominance was undeniable.
The victory, Nigeria’s second in two games, puts them firmly in second place in Group A.
???????? Victor Osimhen ????????
— CAF (@CAF_Online) January 18, 2024
With a final group match against Guinea-Bissau on the horizon, Osimhen remains optimistic.
“This is a big win for us, and we have to build on this in our next game,” Osimhen said.
With Osimhen leading the charge and Peseiro’s tactical nous proving formidable, the Super Eagles are sending a clear message to their rivals: Nigeria is a force to be reckoned with at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Their next encounter, set for the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium on Tuesday, promises to be another nail-biting affair, but with the midfield mastery now revealed, the Super Eagles have every reason to believe they can soar even higher.