The Nigerian national team head coach overlooked the Crotone forward a few days ago, but it didn’t dampen his enthusiasm as he nearly rescued a point for his side on Friday
Simy Nwankwo bagged a brilliant brace on Friday, but it was not enough as Crotone fell to a 3-2 defeat at Lazio in a matchday 27 Serie A encounter.
Simy made it 12 Serie A goals for the season, scoring in each half at the Stadio Olimpico. Still, Crotone’s defensive frailties meant that the visitors left Roma without a point to show for Simy’s excellent display.
The Nigerian forward equalised for Serse Cosmi’s men on the half-hour mark after Milinkovic-Savic had broken the deadlock for the hosts in the 14th minute.
But Luis Alberto restored Lazio’s lead shortly before halftime to leave Crotone with a mountain to climb after the break.
Still, Simy came to his side’s rescue five minutes after the restart, slamming home the afternoon’s second equaliser from the penalty spot.
But Crotone could not hold on for a share of the spoils, crumbling under pressure to allow Felipe Caicedo to net an 84th-minute winner.
While Simy continues to enjoy a prolific period in front of goal, the opposite is the fortunes of Crotone, with the club languishing bottom of the Serie A table and are odds on favourite to return to the Serie B come the end of the season.
The former Gil Vicente forward will, however, count himself unlucky to have missed the cut when Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr released a 24-man list of players ahead of Nigeria’s Afcon-qualifying engagements against the Benin Republic and Lesotho later this month.