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Victor Osimhen scores 4 goals as Nigeria Crushes Sao Tome 10-0

Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen

Nigeria smashed Sao Tome e Principe 10-0 in Morocco on Monday, recording the largest win in Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying history. Napoli forward Victor Osimhen scored four goals.

Qualifying for the biennial championship has been held since 1961, and until Nigeria’s rampage in the Atlantic resort of Agadir, Ghana, Kenya, and Libya shared the record with eight-goal triumphs.

Terem Moffi (two goals), captain Moses Simon, Oghenekaro Etebo, Ademola Lookman, and Emmanuel Dennis were among the other scorers in the Group A matchday two match.

The game was expected to be one-sided because Nigeria is 153 places higher in the world rankings than Sao Tome, but after a fairly competitive first half, the game degenerated into shooting practice for the Super Eagles.

Nigeria’s previous best score in a Cup of Nations qualifier was seven against Burkina Faso in 1991, when now-deceased Rashidi Yekini scored four goals.

It was supposed to be a home match for Sao Tome, but due to the lack of an international-standard stadium on the tiny island nation, it had to be shifted to southern Morocco.

After Guinea-Bissau put five past him in match day one last week, goalkeeper Anastacio Braganca, one of six home-based Sao Tomeans in the lineup, has conceded 15 goals in two games.

Victor Osimhen took advantage of the space provided by the minnows and is the leading scorer in 2023 AFCON qualifying with five goals, one more than Senegal’s Sadio Mane, the reigning African Footballer of the Year.

Osimhen, who was seriously injured when playing for Napoli last year, wore a protective face mask for the first half but removed it for the second 45 minutes.

On nine minutes, the 23-year-old put the three-time African champions ahead in the nearly empty 45,000-seat Grand Stade d’Agadir.

Guinea-Bissau takes the lead in the blowout

After a win against Sierra Leone and friendly losses to Mexico and Ecuador, he then set up goals for Simon and Moffi before halftime as Nigeria controlled the fourth encounter under Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro.

Soon after the resumption, Nigeria scored five more goals in 17 minutes to take an 8-0 lead halfway through the second half.

Six minutes from time, Victor Osimhen scored the ninth goal, and Emmanuel Dennis sealed the humiliation of the islands by converting an added-time penalty.

After edging Mauritius 4-3 on aggregate in a preliminary tie, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) banned Sao Tome because one of its players violated the Covid-19 test guidelines.

The Falcons and True Parrots Team filed an appeal with a different CAF commission and were reinstated just nine days before their first group game.

At the commencement of qualification for the 2023 tournament in the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Morocco all won both matches.

Guinea-Bissau would have thought they had a good chance of winning again when Jorginho scored twice in the first five minutes of the second half to give his side a two-goal lead over Sierra Leone in Conakry.

Sana Gomes was sent off for the Wild Dogs, but Augustus Kargbo halved the deficit and Musa Kamara equalized on 87 minutes to salvage a 2-2 draw.

Because they don’t have a CAF-approved stadium, Liberia gave up home advantage to Morocco in Group K, and they lost 2-0, with Faycal Fajr and Youssef En-Nesyri scoring in Casablanca.

Matchdays three and four are set for September 19-27, however Senegal has requested that they be postponed so that Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, and Tunisia can play friendly matches.

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