The Nigerian national football team, the Super Eagles, will be without their key strikers Kelechi Iheanacho and Victor Osimhen as they prepare to take on Mozambique’s Black Mambas in their second international friendly during the current FIFA free window. This match will be held in Portugal, where the Super Eagles previously drew 2-2 with Saudi Arabia’s Green Falcons after conceding a last-minute goal.
According to thenff.com, Iheanacho, who played a pivotal role in the previous game and scored an impressive second goal against the Green Falcons, has left the team’s camp to attend to personal matters. On the other hand, Osimhen is currently recovering from a hamstring injury. There are concerns about his availability for the upcoming African Cup of Nations, as he had also missed the 2021 AFCON due to injury.
Nevertheless, head coach Peseiro remains optimistic about the team’s chances against Mozambique. He expressed confidence in his other talented forwards, who have the ability to make Nigeria proud. Peseiro believes that despite the absence of Iheanacho and Osimhen, there are players on the bench who can step up and seize their opportunities.
The Super Eagles aim to secure a victory against the Mambas in order to boost their morale ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Lesotho and Zimbabwe next month. This match serves as the final gathering for the three-time African champions before their journey to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup begins. Nigeria will host Lesotho’s Crocodiles before traveling to face Zimbabwe’s Warriors away, all within a few days in November.
With Iheanacho and Osimhen absent, the attacking responsibilities will primarily fall on Victor Boniface, who contributed to an own goal in the previous game against Saudi Arabia. Other attacking options include Terem Moffi, Sadiq Umar, Samuel Chukwueze, and Moses Simon, with Alex Iwobi providing support in midfield.
Defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Jordan Torunarigha, and Chidozie Awaziem, as well as midfielders Frank Onyeka, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, and Raphael Onyedika, did not have playing time against Saudi Arabia and could serve as key assets for Peseiro against Mozambique at the Estadio Municipal de Portimäo.
Nigeria and Mozambique have faced each other four times at the senior level, with the Super Eagles winning a friendly match in Maputo with a lone goal. The teams also had memorable home-and-away 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches. The first encounter in Maputo ended in a scoreless draw, while in the second match in Abuja, Yusuf Ayila’s heroic intervention led to Victor Obinna Nsofor scoring the only goal. This victory was crucial for Nigeria, as a 0-0 draw would have eliminated them from the race to the first FIFA World Cup held on African soil. A few months later, the Eagles defeated the Mambas 3-0 in Lubango during the Africa Cup of Nations finals, securing their place in the tournament’s quarterfinals.