On Saturday, in the Belgian First Division A, Charleroi took on Cercle Brugge KSV at the Stade du Pays. The Zebras, as they are popularly known, were only a point above their opponents in the table before kick-off.
Charleroi started the game well and were rewarded in the 16th minute when Cristian Benavente found the net and gave his team the lead. They were the better team in the first half and took the 1:0 score to the break.
Shortly after the restart, Victor Osimhen, a rising Super Eagles star, scored the second goal for Charleroi, after an assist by Benavente. And only seven minutes, later, the game was wrapped up with a third goal, scored by Marco Ilaimaharitra. Cercle Brugge got a consolation goal in the 85th minute, courtesy of Adrien Bongiovanni. The end result was 3:1 to Charleroi. This win moves them up to sixth place in the table.
After the game, Felice Mazzu, Charleroi manager, has praised Osimhen, talking positively about how he’s fitted in well with Benavente and how he is full of energy and enthusiasm but has still got to learn.
Victor Osimhen came to Belgium on a season-long loan from the German side Wolfsburg, where he couldn’t find enough game time. Since his time with the Belgians, he has now scored seven goals in 12 league appearances and eight goals in all competitions. Funnily enough, he had trials with Cercle Brugge before he joined Charleroi, but they didn’t think he was a good enough fit for them. They might be feeling differently after this match.
Osimhen is only 19 years old and has a lot of development ahead but he’s really come into his own with Charleroi. The other goal he scored was in the Belgian Cup.
During his time at Wolfsburg, for 18 months he didn’t score a single goal, but it seems that he is liking his time in Belgium. And he came to Wolfsburg on the back of winning the Golden Boot and the Silver Ball at the FIFA 2015 U-17 World Cup in Chile where Nigeria successfully defended their title of U-17 World Champion. For that same year, he was also named the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Youth Player of the Year.
Osimhen played seven matches for the Nigerian U-17 team and scored 10 goals. He has also played four games with the U-20 team before joining the senior squad. So far, he has earned two caps for the Super Eagles, but if he continues his good form, there is no doubt Nigerian coach Gernot Rohr will keep calling him up for the squad.
Charleroi have an option to sign him up on a permanent contract after this season for around €3 million which would be a bargain.