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Osimhen bags hat-trick as Nigeria demolish Sao Tome



osimhen celebrates

Jose Peseiro’s side headed into the game with their place at the AFCON in Ivory Coast next year already guaranteed with 12 points after beating Sierra Leone 3-2 in June but the three-time African Champions took nothing for granted as they soared to a comfortable win over the Selecao

The Super Eagles cruised to an emphatic 10-0 victory when the sides squared off at the Stade Adrar in last year’s reverse fixture and almost repeated the feat at the Nest of Champions in Uyo.

The Eagles were clinical in front of goals converting six of the chances created.

While Jordan Torunarigha and Gift Orban had their Eagles debut delayed, Francis Uzoho returned to post with Semi Ajayi, Ola Aina, Calvin Bassey and Onyemaechi Bruno in defence.

Peseiro opted for Frank Onyeka and Wilfred Ndidi in the midfield while Kelechi Iheanacho and Lookman played from the wings. In-form duo Osimhen and Awoniyi led the attack.

The Eagles wasted no time to make a statement as the Napoli man opened the scoring just 13 minutes into the game before Atalanta forward, Lookman, doubled the tally 27 minutes into the encounter.

Nigeria took their feet off the pedals after the two-goal cushion. Still, they remained in total control of the game with Uzoho barely tested throughout the match before Algerian official Lahlou Benbrahamas brought the first half to a close.

 Six minutes into the restart, Nottingham Forest forward, Awoniyi, scored the third goal of the game to put the Eagles totally out of the visitors’ sight.

Two quick goals from Osimhen put Nigeria 5-0 up before Chukwueze’s 84th-minute strike courtesy of a fine assist from Victor Boniface completed the rout.

Osimhen’s hat trick against São Tomé and Príncipe means the 24-year-old is now the country’s fourth all-time goal scorer with 20 goals.

Prior to the kick-off against the Falcons and True Parrots in the match-day six of the AFCON qualifiers in their Group A clash, Osimhen was joint-sixth all-time goalscorer alongside Sunday Oyarekhua and Samson Siasia with 17 goals, behind Obafemi Martins (18) and Ikechukwu Uche (19), who both occupied the fifth and fourth positions respectively.

His three goals against Sao Tome mean he is now the country’s fourth top scorer with 20 goals.

Osimhen’s eyes are set on breaking the Super Eagles’ all-time highest goalscorer record set by late Rashidi Yekini in the 90s. The legendary striker scored 37 goals in 67 games for Nigeria before he retired in 1998. This means that Osimhen is just 20 goals away from equaling the national record.

But before Osimhen dares the age-long national record, he must surpass second-placed Segun Odegbami who scored 23 goals before he retired and third-placed Yakubu Aiyegbeni who recorded 21 goals for the national team.