AFCON boss names absent star that cost him title | KickOff

2024-03-13 06:51:32

Soccer Laduma

Nigeria boss Jose Peseiro (right) stated that Nigeria could have won the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with a fit Victor Boniface.

A 2023 Africa Cup of Nations boss has named the star whose absence from the tournament cost him continental gold.

Former Nigeria manager Jose Peseiro led the side to the final of the competition where they were unable to cross the finish line, losing 2-1 to hosts Ivory Coast.

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His side's road to the final was built on a defensive solidity that saw them concede just four goals from open play throughout the tournament.

Going forward, the Super Eagles scored eight goals in their seven encounters, but the Portuguese tactician believes that striker Victor Boniface could have increased that number and even taken the team to a continental title.

"I will say that Boniface would have made the difference without injury," he said in an interview, per Ghanasoccernet.

"He was very confident and can play comfortably in our two-man attacking style.

"He can also play on both sides of the strikers, and that would have made him our invisible arc in the tournament. Our options to refine our style were limited in his absence."

The Bayer Leverkusen star was ruled out days before AFCON 2023 kicked off after picking up an adductor injury during pre-tournament preparations.

The Nigerian striker was in the midst of a good campaign with his club, registering 10 goals and seven assists in 16 league matches. Report suggest that the 23-year-old will make a full return to action in April.

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Peseiro, meanwhile, parted ways with the Super Eagles earlier this month, leaving the side on the hunt for a new manager.

2024-03-13 News