Barcelona striker Oshoala ruled out of Nigeria’s Wafcon 2022 campaign

Asisat OshoalaVictor Adigun

Asisat Oshoala has been ruled out of Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 2022 with Nigeria through injury.

The Barcelona striker suffered a medial collateral ligament strain in the Super Falcons’ 2-1 defeat to South Africa on Monday.

With this, the reigning African Women’s Player of the Year will play no part for the remainder of the tournament in Morocco.

The Nigerian Football Federation confirmed this on its social media account. “Sad news from Nigeria Super Falcons camp: Top striker Asisat Oshoala is out of the ongoing #Wafcon2022,” the tweet read.

“She sustained a Grade 2 Medial Collateral Ligament strain in the game against South Africa. She is due back in Spain on Thursday. Get well quick Asisat!”

Oshoala’s injury setback for Randy Waldrum’s women who are eyeing a tenth African title as well as a place in the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup billed for New Zealand and Australia.

Fans had hit out at the former Arsenal and Liverpool player for her lacklustre display against Desiree Ellis’ team at the Stade Moulay Hassan, Rabat – describing her as overrated.

Having claimed Spain’s Pichichi prize with 20 goals to become the first African woman to do so, she hoped

to replicate the scoring form in her fifth Wafcon appearance.

“First of all, I think we need to understand football, talking about shifting focus and replicating the same performances, I am always ready to give 100 per cent whenever I am given the opportunity to play. I am in a positive mood going into the tournament," she told the Caf website.

"I think it’s been a rollercoaster of different emotions, I’ve had good times and bad times, with injuries and all of that. It is just a mixed feeling for me this season.

"As usual, I'm in the competition mode, I'm excited and working hard for the tournament. After a couple of years and after being cancelled the last time [2020], we are set for the big one again."

Meanwhile, coach Waldrum has refused to comment on the 27-year-old’s dilemma, instead focusing on Thursday’s fixture against Botswana.

“We are definitely going to make some changes from our first game. The atmosphere in camp is good and we have regrouped. We want to win our next game,” the American told the media.

Nigeria will now look up to Gotham FC’s Ifeoma Onumonu, UANL’s Uchenna Kanu, and CSKA Moscow’s Francisca Ordega for goals against the Mares. 

Oshoala has been ruled out of 2022 Wafcon

Will the Barcelona star's absence impact Nigeria's title chances?