AFCON2021Q: Red-hot Osimhen destroys Lesotho for Nigeria

AFCON2021Q: Red-hot Osimhen destroys Lesotho for Nigeria

Lille of France striker Victor Osimhen underlined his red-hot form on Sunday evening in Maseru when he almost destroyed Lesotho on his own in an Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON2021) qualification game decided at the Setsoto Stadium.

The hosts stunned the three times African champions when Nkoto Masoabi headed home a cross in the 11th minute but the 2015 Under 17 World Cup star took charge of the game from thence.

First, he robbed defender Thabo Seakhova of the ball in the 26th minute to release Alex Iwobi who did excellently to find the bottom corner from an almost impossible angle.

Gernot Rohr’s men then went in front nine minutes before the break with Osimhen the provider once again. This time, he combined with his fellow former Under-17 star Samuel Chukwueze who provided the finish with a looping header over Lesotho goalkeeper Ntsane Lichaba.

The Super Eagles looked to put the game to bed early in the second half but Osimhen (twice) and centre back Semi Ajayi were denied by Lichaba in the first ten minutes of the half.

The Bantu FC goalkeeper could however do nothing to deny Osimhen in the 74th minute after a good run down the left flank by Ola Aina. The striker (though looked marginally offside based on TV replays) poked home the Torino man’s low cross.

Osimhen then got his brace six minutes from time when he latched onto Ramon Azeez’s pass to score his third goal in five days for the Super Eagles.

There however was still a final talking point in the game as Nigerian defender Chidozie Awaziem – who was lucky to still be on the pitch though – volleyed a cross into his own net inadvertently in the 88th win.

Nigeria’s win puts the 2013 AFCON winners in the driving seat in Group L with six points from two games, followed by Benin on three points after the Squirrels edged Sierra Leone 1-0 in Cotonou on Sunday.

Nigeria XI

Akpeyi; Awaziem, William Ekong, Semi Ajayi, Ola Aina; Ndidi, Aribo (Ramon Azeez 71′), Iwobi; Simon (Kalu 78′), Osimhen, Chukwueze (Musa 66′)

Photo: PoojaMedia

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