Striker Victor Osimhen sealed a historic back-to-back AFCON qualifying topscorer gong after his hattrick led Nigeria to a 6-0 win at home to Sao Tome and Principè on Sunday evening.
The Napoli star capped up a week during which he became the first Nigerian player to be nominated for the Ballon D’Or in over twenty years with a sizzling hattrick as the Super Eagles as expected put their hapless opposition to the sword at the Nest of Champions in Uyo.
With the Eagles already qualified, head coach Jose Peseiro still started his top marksman Osimhen who had an eye on finishing top of the scorers chart for the second AFCON qualifying series in a row and he achieved just that.
20 GOALS FOR THE SUPER EAGLES!— Soar Super Eagles (@SSE_NGA) September 10, 2023
Victor Osimhen is goated! 🐐 pic.twitter.com/LadF01YIxj
Osimhen, 24, opened the floodgate of goals in the 13th minute when he headed home Ademola Lookman’s corner from right at the centre of the six-yard box before Lookman himself netted Nigeria’s second in the 27th minute, cutting in and shooting home from just inside the box.
Two former U17 World Cup winners Kelechi Iheanacho and Taiwo Awoniyi then combined for Nigeria’s third just before the hour mark, the former finding the latter with a delicate chip, leaving Awoniyi to finish the rest with a smart chest-and-volleyed effort.
Osimhen then won and converted a penalty kick in the 70th minute before he completed his hattrick ten minutes from pass, finishing from close range after a pass by substitute Samuel Chukwueze.
AC Milan star Chukwueze then rounded off the scoring when he collected a pass from debutant Victor Boniface before finishing home easily from close range.
The performance confirms Osimhen as the qualifying series’ top scorer with ten goals and puts him in firm contention for the 2023 African Footballer of the Year award after his exploits for Italian side Napoli last term and now Nigeria’s Super Eagles.
Osimhen’s fear in the 2023 qualifying series also means that Nigerian strikers have finished top of the scorer’s chat of the last three AFCON qualifying tournaments. Osimhen co-top in 2021 and Odion Ighalo, tops in 2019.
Nigerian fans will now hope Osimhen continues the form into the World Cup qualifying series which starts in November.