Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen, has sent strong warnings to Ghana ahead of the FIFA World Cup play-off against Nigeria later this month as he inspired a 2-1 win over Udinese to help Napoli climb level on points with Serie A leaders AC Milan on Saturday.
Nigeria take on Ghana on Friday 25th March, with the reverse leg set for the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Tuesday, 29th March from 6pm.
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The winner over two legs will earn one of Africa’s five tickets to the 22nd FIFA World Cup finals, scheduled for 14th November – 18th December this year in Qatar.
And Osimhen, who missed the Africa Cup of Nations earlier in the year, will be leading the line for the Super Eagles against their arch-rivals, Black Stars of Ghana.
On Saturday, Osimhen was the hero of the hour as his two goals on 53 and 63 minutes sealed the win at the Stadio Maradona in Napoli for Luciano Spalletti’s rampaging side.
After his double at Verona last week got Napoli back to winning ways, Osimhen, still wearing a face mask to protect his injured cheekbone, levelled the scores with a header after Gerard Deulofeu’s opener midway through the first half for the visitors, before his cross-shot put them ahead.
Napoli now have 63 points, level with AC Milan, who play at Cagliari later, and four points ahead of Inter Milan who have played two games less and take on Fiorentina at home also on Saturday.
Udinese had Pablo Marri sent off on 82 minutes as the visitors came under growing pressure, but saw out the match without further damage.
Napoli are chasing a first Serie A title since the days when Diego Maradona inspired them to their only Italian league titles in 1987 and 1990.
After scoring twice on Saturday, Osimhen with 11 goals, made Serie A history, following in the footsteps of George Weah, Samuel Eto’o and Mohamed Salah.
This makes him the first-ever Nigerian player to achieve double figures in two consecutive Serie A seasons.
In general, the only Africans to have achieved this feat in the Italian top-flight were Weah for Milan, Eto’o at Inter and Mo Salah with Roma.
Osimhen has already done better than his debut Italian season when he finished with 10 Serie A goals in 24 appearances.