x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Victor Obinna to miss friendly against Italy

The forward, who scored the second goal for Nigeria against Ethiopia on Saturday, will miss the match against the Italians because of injury.

Victor Obinna, after scoring against Ethiopia on Saturday. Sunday Alamba / AP
Victor Obinna, after scoring against Ethiopia on Saturday. Sunday Alamba / AP

Victor Obinna, whose second goal sealed Nigeria’s weekend win against Ethiopia and sent the Super Eagles to the World Cup finals, will miss Monday’s friendly with Italy because of injury, officials said.

The ex-Inter Milan forward came on as a late substitute to score a superb free-kick in the 83rd minute to secure a 2-0 win and 4-1 victory on aggregate on Saturday but later suffered a thigh strain.

Nigeria officials said he would undergo a scan on Monday to determine the extent of the injury but he would not play against the Azzurri at Fulham’s Craven Cottage ground in west London.

The Lokomotiv Moscow forward said he was disappointed but hoped to bounce back in good time.

“I would really love to have played this game but there is nothing I can do now because of the injury,” he said.

Coach Stephen Keshi is expected to use the match to test the depth of his squad, given the tight turnaround after Saturday’s second-leg qualifier in Calabar, southeast Nigeria.