Osimhen nets four in record 10-0 win for Nigeria in Nations Cup qualifier

Victor Osimhen scored four goals as Nigeria thrashed minnows Sao Tome e Principe 10-0 in qualifying for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Super Eagles missed out on a place at the 2022 World Cup in Africa’s play-offs in March but have made a perfect start in Group A as they seek a spot at next year’s Nations Cup in Ivory Coast.

The victory away from home is the biggest win the West Africans have recorded, surpassing a 10-1 triumph over Benin in 1959.

Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis and Ademola Lookman, who spent last season on loan at Leicester City, were also on the score sheet for Jose Peseiro’s Nigeria.

Osimhen, 23, now has 15 goals in 22 international caps, with the Napoli striker becoming only the second Nigerian to score four goals in an international, with Rashidi Yekini the first to do so in a 7-1 Nations Cup qualifier against Burkina Faso in 1991.

Sao Tome e Principe are ranked 183 in the world by Fifa and had to come through a preliminary qualifying tie against Mauritius to reach the group stage.

The islanders were then thrown out of qualifying for fielding an ineligible player – but Sao Tome were subsequently reinstated just nine days before Group A got under way following a successful appeal.

Nigeria join holders Senegal, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali and Morocco with two wins from their first two qualifiers, with the next two rounds of matches scheduled for September.

Nigeria began their campaign by coming from behind to beat Sierra Leone 2-1 on Thursday, and Osimhen and Moses Simon did the damage in the first half in Agadir.

Osimhen was set up by Simon for the opener in the ninth minute and returned the favour before the Napoli forward laid on the third for Terem Moffi two minutes before the break.

Nigeria carried on where they left off in the second half as Osimhen grabbed his second three minutes after the restart and Stoke midfielder Peter Etebo netted a powerful free-kick in the 55th minute.

Moffi bagged his second on the hour mark and Lookman quickly made it 7-0.

Oshimen completed his hat-trick in the 65th minute then netted his fourth with six minutes remaining and Dennis rounded off the scoring with an injury-time penalty.

All three designated home sides on Monday are being forced to play outside of their countries because they do not have stadia fit to host international football.

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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