Victor Osimhen Discloses Reason for Abstaining From Penalty Duty in AFCON Clash Against Ivory Coast

Victor Osimhen Discloses Reason for Abstaining From Penalty Duty in AFCON Clash Against Ivory Coast

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Nigeria logo
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
Napoli logoFNigeria logo
Ivory Coast logo
Cote DIvoire
Ivory Coast
William Troost-Ekong logo
W. Troost-Ekong
PAOK Saloniki logoDNigeria logo
Ousmane Diomande logo
Sporting CP logoDIvory Coast logo
  • Nigeria faced off against host nation Ivory Coast in a crucial AFCON clash
  • The West African nation sealed the win courtesy of a second-half penalty
  • Victor Osimhen has disclosed his reason for not taking the penalty in the tie

The Super Eagles of Nigeria finally hit their stride at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a resounding victory in the intense showdown against host nation Ivory Coast.

The match, which kept numerous fans on the edge of their seats throughout the 90 minutes, featured a series of end-to-end attacking battles.

AFCON, Nigeria, Super Eagles, Ivory Coast, Victor Osimhen.
Super Eagles players celebrate after William Troost Ekong converted his penalty during the AFCON clash against Ivory Coast. Image: Franck Fife.
Source: Getty Images

The highlight of the game, however, came when marquee forward, Victor Osimhen, was taken down in a clumsy tackle by defender Ousmane Diomande in the 53rd minute.

The resulting penalty was successfully converted by the captain for the night, William Troos-Ekong, ultimately securing a crucial win for the Super Eagles.

Despite the jubilation and ensuing discussions about the nail-biting encounter, supporters and stakeholders of Nigerian football have pointed out that Osimhen, who won the penalty, chose not to take the shot.

However, following the conclusion of the game, the 25-year-old disclosed his rationale for declining the opportunity to take the penalty.

Osimhen on not taking penalty

The African Footballer of the Year surprised many when he left the scenes of the penalty only for it to be taken by Troost-Ekong.

When questioned about his decision to abstain from the penalty, the Napoli star explained during the post-match conference, as reported by All Nigerian Soccer:

"It was the coach. He [Ekong] wanted me to take it, but I had to respect it. He is the captain.
"For me, I don't mind who takes the penalty or who scores for the team. I want the team to win. I want the team to progress, so this is the most important thing for me."

The words of the standout forward were met with little surprise, considering the team's emphasis on collective success over individual glory.

Osimhen will be optimistic about returning to goal-scoring ways as Nigeria gears up for the upcoming clash against Guinea-Bissau.

Ivory Coast manager on Nigeria's defeat

In a separate report, Sports Brief highlighted that Ivory Coast coach Jean-Louis Gasset offered an explanation for his team's loss to Nigeria.

The 70-year-old emphasised the influence of Osimhen in the match, pointing out that the Napoli forward's capacity to challenge his team's defence posed a significant challenge that proved difficult for his side to handle.

Les Elephants will be aiming to secure a victory in their pivotal upcoming match against the leading team, Equatorial Guinea.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).