Who: Nigeria vs South Africa
What: CAF AFCON 2023 semifinal
When: Wednesday, February 7, 2024, 17:00 GMT
Where: Stade Bouake, Ivory Coast
Nigeria have a significant concern over the health of African Footballer of the Year Victor Osimhen forward of the Africa Cup of Nations semifinal with South Africa on Wednesday.
The Super Eagles striker missed the squad’s flight from Abidjan to Bouake on Monday after complaining of stomach discomfort.
Before that, the 25-year-old had been ever current for his facet on the match and has scored 21 targets in 32 worldwide appearances.
“Team medics confirmed that he has been placed under close watch with a member of the medical team staying behind in Abidjan with him,” Nigeria stated on Tuesday on the social media platform X.
“He will join the rest of the squad before 5pm, if cleared by tomorrow [Wednesday] morning.”
Members of the group traveled from Abidjan to Bouaké at this time by way of a 10pm Air Cote D’Ivoire flight. Osimhen didn’t nevertheless make the journey on account of an stomach discomfort. Team medics confirmed that he has been positioned below shut watch with a member of the medical group staying… pic.twitter.com/G39LqaKcVA
— 🇳🇬 Super Eagles (@NGSuperEagles) February 5, 2024
Osimhen, who was the main scorer in Serie A final season with champions Napoli, has scored solely as soon as in 5 matches to this point on the match.
His efficiency and work fee, nevertheless, have been praised as “fantastic” by his coach Jose Peseiro after the 2-0 spherical of 16 victory towards Cameroon.
Peseiro added that the striker’s skill off the ball is simply as prolific as his goal-scoring skill.
“Nobody can win a match alone – everyone has to play – but he is a good example,” the coach stated.
This is Nigeria’s record-equaling sixteenth semifinal look of their twentieth AFCON match.
Only seven-time champion Egypt has performed as many semifinals though the Pharaohs have performed in 26 tournaments.
Wednesday’s recreation towards the Bafana Bafana is a repeat of the semifinal in 2000 when Nigeria received 2-0 in Lagos.
Nigeria received the final of its three titles in 2013 whereas South Africa’s solely win got here in 1996.
𝙏𝙊 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝙎𝙀𝙈𝙄-𝙁𝙄𝙉𝘼𝙇𝙎! 🔥
— CAF (@CAF_Online) February 3, 2024
South Africa have grown into the match after a gap 2-0 defeat towards Mali within the group stage.
Bafana Bafana completed second of their group because of a goalless draw with Tunisia of their ultimate match, which eradicated the 2004 finalists.
Tournament favourites Morocco have been overcome within the spherical of 16. South African coach Hugo Broos admitted that one other victory, the quarterfinal win on penalties towards Cape Verde, was his facet’s worst efficiency on the match as he believed nerves received the higher of the gamers.
Broos himself isn’t any stranger to AFCON success and does seem to have the Midas contact on the competitors.
The former Belgium worldwide received the continental title with Cameroon in 2017, taking a facet given little likelihood earlier than the beginning all the best way to the winners podium and now, seven years later, has led equally unfancied South Africa to the final 4.
Before the match, Broos, who was handed a five-year contract in 2021, had received 11 of twenty-two video games and, after initially utilizing gamers solely below 26 to rebuild the facet, was pressured to desert these plans when the kids weren’t delivering.
But his Cup of Nations file is spectacular even when the statistics belie some fortunate escapes.
His Cameroon facet reached the knockout stage in 2017 solely after a superb last-gasp save by younger goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa denied hosts Gabon the winner after they struck the put up within the final minute.
Cameroon went on to edge Senegal within the quarterfinals on penalties after which beat Ghana and Egypt to win the title.
After Bafana Bafana superior to the semifinals, Broos’s Cup of Nations file now reads 5 wins and 5 attracts with a single loss in 11 video games over the 2 editions.
South Africa have been lucky to see off Cape Verde on Saturday when goalkeeper Ronwen Williams made an astonishing sequence of saves within the post-match shootout. The stopper additionally pushed a late Blue Sharks effort onto the bar within the dying seconds of regular time.
Many believed the spherical of 16 match-up between Osimhen and Cameroon and Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana was going to be one of many highlights of the match. Onana, although, was benched for the second consecutive recreation.
All of Nigeria and all neutrals all over the world will probably be hoping a face-off between Williams and Osimhen will not be additionally denied by the latter’s medical considerations.
— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) February 5, 2024
Nigeria stay unbeaten on the match after their win towards Ivory Coast together with two attracts within the group stage.
Cameroon have been overcome 2-0 within the spherical of 16 whereas Angola have been seen off 1-0 within the quarterfinals, which suggests the Super Eagles haven’t conceded a aim since their match opening draw with Equatorial Guinea.
Similarly South Africa’s power has been their defence, and so they too haven’t conceded since their opening loss to Mali.
The penalty win towards Cape Verde within the quarterfinals may have put lots of fatigue into the Bafana Bafana our bodies, particularly after the momentous win towards Morocco within the spherical of 16
Nigeria: D W D W W
South Africa: D W D W W
Nigeria group information
Osimhen’s stomach grievance overshadows the build-up to the semifinal, and will probably be all eyes on the Super Eagles striker to see if and when he departs Abidjan to hyperlink up with the squad in Bouake.
Predicted XI: Nwabali, Ajayi, Troost-Ekong, Bassey, Aina, Onyeka, Iwobi, Sanusi, Simon, Lookman, Osimhen
South Africa group information
South Africa don’t have any new harm complaints going into the semifinal. Fatigue will probably be their best concern after the victory on penalties towards Cape Verde. Whether that influences Broos to make any adjustments stays to be seen.
Predicted XI: Williams, Mudau, Kekana, Mvala, Modiba, Mokoena, Sithole, Morena, Zwane, Tau, Makgopa