By Peter Akinbo.
Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen scored the Scudetto-winning goal for Napoli as they secured a 1-1 away draw against Udinese at the Stadio Friuli on Thursday, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
This also marks Osimhen’s first club title in his professional career and his contributions have been vastly important for Napoli in the Serie A this season having scored 22 goals in 27 appearances and is in line to win the Golden Boot with three goals above Lautaro Martinez in the scorers chart.
For the first time since 1990, the city of Naples is the home to the Champions of Italy after Napoli drew 1-1 in their away meeting with Udinese to win the title for the third time in their history.
After a late Salernitana equaliser prevented Napoli from winning the title on Sunday, Luciano Spalletti’s side travelled to the Dacia Arena with the knowledge that a point would be enough to end their wait for the Scudetto. Like Salernitana, Udinese were keen to spoil the party, and they took advantage of a nervous start from the visitors to take the lead in the 13th minute. Sandi Lovrić was given the time and space in the box to fire an unstoppable strike into the top corner.
Osimhen attempted to lead the Napoli response, but he was unable to make the most of two half-chances, sending a header into the clutches of Marco Silvestri before nodding agonisingly wide from Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s lofted cross. Trailing at HT of a SA away game for the first time this season, Spalletti headed down the tunnel to give a potentially historic team talk.
The Italian’s wise words paid dividends within seven minutes of the restart when Osimhen scored the all-important goal that had been 33 years in the making. Silvestri palmed Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s low shot into the path of the Nigeria international, who kept his composure to calmly guide the ball home, sparking scenes of pandemonium among the 11,000 travelling support and a packed-out Stadio Diego Armando Maradona who were watching history being made on big screens back in Naples.
Piotr Zieliński attempted to make sure of the title, but his driven effort was superbly kept out by Silvestri. As it proved, a winning goal was not forthcoming, but that mattered little to a club and a city that could celebrate a title victory for the first time since the one and only Diego Maradona donned the famous Napoli jersey.
While Andrea Sottil’s side climb up to 12th place, Spalletti obtains his membership to an elite group, joining Ottavio Bianchi and Alberto Bigon as the only three Napoli managers to win the Scudetto.