Victor Osimhen Bags Hat Trick As Nigeria Demolish Sao Tome In Uyo

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Victor Osimhen scored a hat trick as the Super Eagles of Nigeria thrashed Sao Tome & Principe in Uyo.

The Nigerian red-hot striker secured three goals as Nigeria signed off their 2023 African Cup of Nations qualifier campaign by putting six past Sao Tome on Sunday, 10th of September.

The former Lille striker has now taken his total goals to 10 in the AFCON qualifying matches and also helped Nigeria complete the qualifiers as group winners in the race for the 2024 Nations Cup in Ivory Coast.

Victor Osimhen’s hat trick against the visitors means the Napoli frontman is now the country’s fourth all-time leading goalscorer with 20 goals.

Before the match, the 24-year-old was the joint sixth all-time goalscorer alongside Samson Saisia and Sunday Oyarekhua who both have 17 goals, behind Ikechukwu Uche (19) and Obafemi Martins (18) who were both involved in the fourth and fifth positions respectively.

The Ballon d’Or nominee’s eyes are focused on breaking the Super Eagles’ all-time highest goalscorer record set by late Rashidi Yekini in the 90s.

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The legendary former Nigeria striker had 37 goals in 67 appearances for the Super Eagles before he called it quits in 1998, which means Victor Osimhen needs just 20 goals to break the national record.

However, before Osimhen reaches the milestone he must overtake second-placed Segun Odegbami who had 23 goals before he quit professional football, and third-placed Yakubu Aiyegbeni who secured 21 goals for the National team.

Nigeria vs Sao Tome & Principe in brief

The Super Eagles had earlier secured a 10-0 victory in their first encounter against Sao Tome and Principe in Agadir, Morocco in June 2022.

The hosts were safe on the lush carpet of Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, as they had already qualified for the finals regardless of the score.

They got off to a good start, as expected, in front of the full house of 30,000 spectators.

Semi Ajayi headed a corner kick by Kelechi Iheanacho with force in the second minute, but Ronaldo Silva pushed the ball away.

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Silva was called into action just four minutes after the opening goal when England-based attacker Taiwo Awoniyi turned and hit a ferocious one from inside the area.

Osimhen, who had scored seven goals in five previous qualifying matches, scored following a corner kick by Ademola Lookman in the 13th minute, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.

Three minutes later, Awoniyi narrowly missed with a header, but in the 27th minute, the away goalkeeper once again had to pull the ball out of his own net.

Lookman dribbled past two players after receiving a pass from on-field captain Wilfred Ndidi and tucked the ball past the goaltender to score Nigeria’s second goal of the match.

Awoniyi brought the spectators to their feet seven minutes into the second half when he chested a flick by Iheanacho and fired past Silva from close range.

Everything was clicking, and in the 70th minute, Victor Osimhen scored his ninth goal of the qualifying campaign to seal the deal.

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At that point, he won a penalty kick and scored as Silva was beaten to the ball.

The scoring king bolstered his Ballon d’Or candidacy with a third goal with 10 minutes remaining, capping off a beautiful counterattack that also included contributions from substitute Samuel Chukwueze and Awoniyi.

Five minutes remained, and Chukwueze capitalized on a breakaway on the left side of the visitors’ defense to score his team’s sixth goal.

The AFCON tournament will be held in Cote d’Ivoire in January 2024, and the Super Eagles will be hoping to do well there.

Victor Osimhen

Nigeria will enter the competition as a strong contender thanks to the presence of talented players like Victor Osimhen.

What’s next for Nigeria?

The Super Eagles will be getting ready for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Lesotho’s Crocodiles which will take place in Uyo on the 17th of November.

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