Victor Osimhen scored a second half brace for Napoli as they drew 2-2 away to Leicester City in their UEFA Europa League group stage opener. The 22-year-old striker had failed to score for Napoli so far this season, with his only goal coming for Nigeria in a World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde.
Leicester City had the perfect start against Napoli in front of their home fans when Spanish striker Ayoze Perez volleyed home a fine finish in the 9th minute of the match following a pass from Harvey Barnes.
Napoli grew into the game as the first half went on, with striker Victor Osimhen and Lorenzo Insigne, in particular, looking to make things happen for their side. Osimhen ran onto a long ball down the right channel before going around Leicester defender Jannik Vestergaard and squaring for Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski, whose shot was hit straight at a Leicester City player.
Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho set up English winger Harvey Barnes, who finished smartly to double the Foxes’ advantage and put them firmly in control at home in front of their fans in the 64th minute.
Napoli halved the lead of Leicester City only five minutes later as striker Osimhen scored a fantastic goal. After a brief interchange of passes between Lorenzo Insigne and Fabian Ruiz, the Spanish midfielder headed the ball towards Osimhen in the box. The Nigerian striker had a lot to do, but casually flicked the ball over Vestergaard’s head before proceeding to chip Leicester keeper Schmeichel from a tight angle. It was the Nigerian’s first goal for his club this season.
Leicester City looked set to pick up all three points at home to Napoli, but Osimhen had other ideas. The striker made a Ronaldo-like leap to powerfully head home a cross from Italian winger Matteo Politano in the 87th minute of the match.
Super Eagles midfielder Wilfred Ndidi received his marching orders after he tugged the shirt of Napoli winger Adam Ounas deep into stoppage time. Osimhen’s heroics ensured that the points were shared evenly at the King Power Stadium.
In Austria, Osimhen’s national team understudy Paul Onuachu scored the lone goal for KRC Genk in their 1-0 win against Rapid Vienna. The Nigerian striker notched his 50th goal for Genk with a 95th minute winner after a cross from Junya Ito.