Former African Footballer of the Year Victor Ikpeba has blasted Victor Osimhen for not getting on the scoresheet during Nigeria’s 1-1 draw against Ghana a week ago but at the same time the striker has been praised for the work ethic he brought to the Super Eagles.
Just past the half hour mark, the Super Eagles number 9 thought he had broken the offside trap and steered the ball past the Black Stars goalkeeper and even celebrated with his teammates but the referee later cancelled the goal after a VAR review.
And in the 59th minute, Osimhen tried the spectacular with a sensational overhead kick that went inches over the bar.
Seven minutes before the final whistle, Osimhen saw another of his acrobatic effort go wide of the mark, much to the frustration of some fans and pundits who felt he should have controlled the ball first instead of attempting a scissors kick.
Ikpeba wasn’t pleased that Osimhen was trying to score a ‘television goal’ and has called for improvement from the Napoli star.
Discussing the performance of Osimhen on SuperSport’s Monday Night Football Ikpeba said : “Victor Osimhen is a good player but is not yet a finished article, forget he’s playing for Napoli.
“Some of those crosses he might have controlled instead of trying to do a bicycle kick.
“He’s a still a young player but I hope that he can improve where he is in Napoli and help the national team in the future.
“He needs to understand when to play the ball and when to play bicycle kicks. “
Ikpeba couldn’t help but praise Osimhen for the intensity and aggressiveness he showed over the course of ninety minutes and encouraged other Super Eagles players to borrow a page from his book.
“He could have scored in that game, he was a big player for the Super Eagles, he was the only player that showed a lot of character and fighting spirit, can’t take it away from him.
“If you have 4-6 players like Osimhen in that game we could have won the game.
“Character matters in football, when it’s 1-1 the next 45 minutes you do it in an unorthodox way, push for it and score a second goal and the players didn’t have the experience to do that in the second half.”
Osimhen was Nigeria’s top scorer in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers with four goals in eight matches.