Nigeria coach admits missing Ighalo, Osimhen

Nigeria coach Augustine Eguavoen admits he is missing the cutting edge of strikers Odion Ighalo and Victor Osimhen, despite the Super Eagles’ delivering some convincing displays at AFCON 2021 in the duo’s absence.

Ighalo’s Saudi Arabian club Al Shabab refused to release him for AFCON while Napoli forward Osimhen was ruled out of the tournament due to a facial injury.

Eguavoen said after Sunday training that he is happy with what he has seen so far from Union Berlin striker Awoniyi Taiwo who has already scored one goal in last Saturday’s 3-1 win over Sudan.

“They [Ighalo and Osimhen] are two different players who can actually score two goals out of three chances. Awoniyi and Sadiq are two different types of players too,” Eguavoen said.

Glasgow Rangers attacker Joseph Aribo has also started two games while Sadiq Umar of UD Almeria in Spain has come on as a late second half sub against Egypt and Sudan.

Both have yet to open their AFCON accounts.

“That is not to say they can’t score goals. Awoniyi has been scoring goals in the German league and Sadiq as well,” Eguavoen said.

“The good thing is that we are not giving the responsibility to the strikers alone. Other players, too, can score goals for us.

“We have given Aribo the chance to move up the field and he has done that very well. He could have scored one or two goals against Sudan. Anybody can score in our team.

“However, Ighalo and Osimhen are two different players from what we’ve now, that is why we are trying to play to our strengths.” – AFP

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