UCL: Osimhen's backheel goal against Sporting de Braga helps Napoli book spot in round of 16

Published: December 13, 2023
UCL: Osimhen's backheel goal against Sporting de Braga helps Napoli book spot in round of 16

Newly-crowned African football king Victor Osimhen, has opened his Champions League account for the season in Napoli's 2-0 win over Sporting de Braga with his thirty-third minute strike at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.


In the keenly contested fixture, Braga gave away an own goal courtesy of Giovanni Di Lorenzo's low cross from Matteo Politano's throw in which was deflected by Serdar Saatçı on to the crossbar and over the line in the ninth minute of play.


A beautiful one-two play between Natan andKhvicha Kvaratskhelia gave the Georgian international huge pockets of space to beat Braga defenders Fonte and Saatçı before squaring for Victor Osimhen, who backheeled against his standing foot, with the ball flicked beyond the Braga goalkeeper and sneaking in.


After the interval, Osimhen terrorized Braga's defence with a fifty-fifth minute shooting chance which strayed high above the crossbar as well as setting up teammate André-Frank Zambo Anguissa who failed to beat the goalkeeper from close range, forcing a brilliant save.


The Nigeria international was substituted for Giacomo Raspadori in the sixty-ninth minute due to travel exhaustion, having flown to Morocco and back to receive the CAF Player of the Year award on Monday night. 


Osimhen's goal against Sporting de Braga on Tuesday night was his first goal since returning from injury last month.


The 24-year-old is expected to be available for selection for Nigeria ahead of next year's Africa Cup of Nations slated to begin on January 13 in Ivory Coast.


Real Madrid finished first in Group C of the Champions League with a hundred percent record from their six games, followed by Napoli who garnered ten points while Braga have been demoted to the Europa League by virtue of finishing third.



Ejim Kaycee



Photo Credit: uefa.com



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