Victor Osimhen insists he has firmly put behind him, the disappointment of Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Zambia.
The Flying Eagles were eliminated by Sudan after a dramatic 5-5 draw on aggregate in the third round of qualifying, with Nigeria losing out on the away goals rule.
Osimhen, who is currently with the Super Eagles squad preparing for today’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania, says he has now set his sights on success with the senior national team.
“I won the World Cup with the U-17s (in 2015) and finished as the highest goal scorer (with 10 goals), however, I lost out with the U-20s as we failed to qualify for the Afcon, Osimhen said.
“However, I have put that behind me and I cannot dwell on that anymore because this is a new chapter for me. I am here to learn, focus on helping the team and making the fans happy,” he said.
Osimhen has never played for Nigeria at senior level.
Meanwhile, the Tanzania’s Taifa Stars says they are in Nigeria to beat the Super Eagles in today’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match. They first landed in Abuja on Thursday aboard an Ethiopian Airline flight, and immediately flew to Uyo aboard a Dana Air jet.
The Taifa Stars are still searching for their first win over the Super Eagles after five previous clashes. The first encounter between the two teams was at the 2nd All-Africa Games that Nigeria hosted in 1973, with Nigeria edging the tie 2-1. In 1980, at the 12th Africa Cup of Nations finals also hosted by Nigeria, the Green Eagles lashed the Taifa Stars 3-1 in the tournament’s opening match.
In the qualifying race for the Spain ’82 FIFA World Cup finals, both teams drew 1-1 at the National Stadium in Lagos, before Nigeria won 2-0 in Dar es Salaam, thanks to goals by John Chidozie and Christian Nwokocha.
The Eagles walked over the Taifa Stars in a 1986 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture. In the first half of this fixture, in Dar es Salaam in September last year, both teams drew 0-0.