The Super Eagles of Nigeria delivered a thrilling performance, defeating Sao Tome and Principe in their last Africa Cup of Nations qualification match,Soccernet.ng reports.
Under the guidance of coach Jose Peseiro, Nigeria refused to take the game lightly, ultimately triumphing with a convincing 6-0 victory at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.
The action-packed clash saw Nottingham Forest striker, Taiwo Awoniyi, taking an early shot at the visitors’ goal in the 7th minute, only to have it blocked by a resolute Sao Tome defender, resulting in a corner.
However, it was the 2023 Ballon d’Or nominee, Victor Osimhen, who swiftly changed the course of the game.
In the 12th minute, Osimhen broke the deadlock with a skillful header, capitalizing on a precise delivery from Atalanta forward, Ademola Lookman.
This remarkable goal also saw Osimhen matching the legendary Obafemi Martins’ record, notching his 18th goal for the Super Eagles.
As the first half progressed, Nigeria continued to press their advantage. Frank Onyeka orchestrated a through pass to find Awoniyi, who was met with a stern defense from a Sao Tome player, resulting in a controversial penalty appeal that was ultimately disallowed.
The 28th minute brought another moment of brilliance for the Super Eagles, with Ademola Lookman doubling their lead. Seizing the opportunity from outside the goal area, Lookman rifled the ball into the net after an excellent setup by Wilfred Ndidi.
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What a good finish by Atalanta’s Ademola Lookman
— Ayomide Oguntimehin (@ayo_oguntimehin) September 10, 2023
Although Kelechi Iheanacho appeared to have added a third goal, it was disallowed for offside, keeping the scoreline at 2-0.
As the second half commenced, former Union Berlin forward, Taiwo Awoniyi, continued Nigeria’s goal-scoring spree with a fine finish in the 51st minute, adding to the team’s commanding lead.
Minutes later, Osimhen further extended Nigeria’s advantage after being fouled by Silva in the box. Osimhen confidently stepped up to the penalty spot, completing his brace with a powerful strike that sent the Sao Tome goalkeeper in the opposite direction.
In the 80th minute, Osimhen completed his hat-trick with a brilliant strike, thanks to a well-placed pass from Samuel Chukwueze. With this goal, he tallied an impressive ten goals in this qualification series, solidifying his position as a key figure for the Super Eagles.
Not to be outdone, super-sub Samuel Chukwueze only about ten minutes after stepping onto the pitch, found the back of the net, further extending Nigeria’s lead to an astonishing 6-0.
This commanding performance secured Nigeria’s comfortable lead in Group A with 15 points, concluding their AFCON qualification campaign with an impressive tally of 5 victories from 6 games.