Osimhen’s Strike Not Enough as Napoli’s Europe Dream Fades 


The chances of Victor Osimhen’s Napoli to play in next season’s UEFA Champions League were dealt with a major blow yesterday after a 2-2 home draw in their Serie A match with struggling Frosinone.

Although the Super Eagles forward  was on target with another superb goal, it was Walid Cheddira’s first brace in Italy’s top flight that  earned a point for Frosinone in Naples.

It left ailing Italian champions Napoli in eighth, six points behind fifth-placed Roma, who extended their advantage in the match against Udinese later last night.

Italian clubs’ strong performances in European football mean a top-five finish in Serie A is almost certain to gain a spot in the Champions League.

Napoli are increasingly unlikely to be among that group and were booed off the pitch at a sparsely-populated Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Francesco Calzona’s side looked set for sixth place when  Osimhen diverted home Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s mishit shot in the 63rd minute.

Instead, Cheddira, who had previously levelled Matteo Politano’s stunning early opener after the away side were gifted possession by Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret, headed home his second 10 minutes after Osimhen’s strike.

Frosinone stays just inside the bottom three and level on 27 points with 17th-placed Verona, who are outside the relegation zone on goal difference and face Atalanta on Monday.

Eusebio Di Francesco’s team deserved the draw from an eventful game in which Meret initially looked to be the hero after he saved Matias Soule’s penalty on the half-hour mark.

Frosinone has only won one league match since late November but successive draws with Genoa, fourth-placed Bologna and now Napoli have boosted their hopes of staying up.

Later Sunday evening,  Inter Milan failed to nip the title after Cagliari held the run away leaders to a 2-2 draw at the San Siro.. A win was enough to end the season for inter.

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