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Peseiro: Star’s absence cost Nigeria’s AFCON glory

Due to injuries, Wilfred Ndidi, Taiwo Awoniyi, Victor Boniface, and Umar Sadiq were unable to compete in the continental championships.

According to  Kpomkwem News, former Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro regrets that Bayer Leverkusen attacker Victor Boniface was unable to attend the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.

The 34th continental championships saw the absence of several of Nigeria’s best players, notably Taiwo Awoniyi and Wilfred Ndidi, a midfielder for Leicester City.

It’s interesting to note that Victor Boniface and Umar Sadiq were practically guaranteed to play at the AFCON until last-minute injuries forced coach Peseiro to substitute players.

The Super Eagles advanced to the tournament final despite the absence of key players. Victor Osimhen battled valiantly, keeper Stanley Nwabali was outstanding, William Troost-Ekong was strong in defence, Frank Onyeka was unrelenting in midfield, and Ademola Lookman was decisive in attack.

The Super Eagles, however, were unable to rise above the competition and lost to the host nation, Cote d’Ivoire, due to their greater firepower.

Peseiro is certain that the Super Eagles would have won the AFCON if Boniface had not had the injury that kept him out of the continent’s largest football competition.

Before the AFCON, Boniface played in just 16 Bundesliga games, but he already had 10 goals and 7 assists.

Peseiro emphasises that Boniface was the Super Eagles’ difference-maker, pointing out how he exuded quality and confidence in the weeks before up to the AFCON.

Peseiro stated in a Portuguese interview that “I will say that Boniface would have made the difference without injury,” according to newsmen.

“He can play easily in our two-man attacking style and exudes confidence.”

Because of his ability to play on both sides of the strikers, he would have been our invisible arc throughout the competition. Without him, we had fewer opportunities to improve our style.

Even though he led Nigeria to their first AFCON final in ten years, Peseiro resigned as head coach following the competition.

Three-time African champions Emmanuel Amunike, Michael Nsien, and Sylvanus Okpala are among the contenders vying to be the next head coach of the Nigeria Football Federation.

Please share your thoughts on the question below:

Is it possible that Victor Boniface’s absence caused the Super Eagles  AFCON trophy glory in Cote d’Ivoire?

SEE: Peseiro appreciation and farewell tweet to Nigeria and fans

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