AFCON 2024 Qualifier: Super Eagles maul Sao Tome and Principe 6-0 thanks to Ballon D'or nominee, Osimhen hattrick
Posted : 10 September 2023
The Super Eagles of Nigeria were more emphatic in their last match of the 2023 African Cup of Nations qualifiers with a 6-0 mauling of Sao Tome and Principe at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom. A hat-trick from Napoli striker and Balloon D'Or nominee, Victor Osimhen, and a goal each from Ademola Lookman, Taiwo Awoniyi, and substitute Samuel Chukwueze ensured the team finished top of Group A ahead of Guinea Bissau.
The victory, which was short of four goals in the first leg between both teams last year in June, makes the Super Eagles fly gleefully to their 21st appearance at the grand finale of the AFCON games since 1963, when the Super Eagles were three-time champions in 1980, 1994, and 2013.
Osimhen, who scored a hat trick in the match, opened the scoring in the 13th minute via an Ademola Lookman assist; scored the 4th goal in the 69th minute when Sao Tome’s goalkeeper, Ronaldo Silva, went the wrong way; and made another one, the 5th goal, in the 79th minute when Samuel Chukwueze tipped him a pass to mess up the goalkeeper again. That makes his total haul so far of 10 goals during the qualifier the highest of any player.
Stand-in captain and Leicester FC strongman Wilfred Ndidi found Lookman for the 2nd goal in the 27th minute; senior man and the star of the match, Kelechi Ihenacho connected Nottingham Forest goal merchant Taiwo Awoniyi in the 51st minute for Nigeria’s 3rd goal, while debutant and substitute Victor Boniface found unmarked African The best player in Spain was Samuel Chukwueze, who just toed the ball into an empty net for Nigeria’s sixth goal.
Sao Tome’s Captain Luis Leal boasted that his country was not in Nigeria for tourism but to revenge and humiliate the Super Eagles by caging the Nigerians, but did not explain how a 10-goal deficit would miraculously be cancelled.
The only time both Nigeria and Sao Tome met was June 13, 2022, when Nigeria created her highest record ever with a 10-0 drubbing of Sao Tome at their backyard in a match where the only yellow card was given to Nigeria and Nigeria was 3-0 up at halftime. Nigeria now has 16 goals against Sao Tome alone.
Nigeria conceded 22 goals, which is a good record in this particular tournament. They chalked up 15 points to top Group A, leaving Guinea Bissau to maintain integrity by beating Sierra Leone in the last group game to earn 13 points to qualify, leaving Sierra Leone and Sao Tome stranded at the exit door with 5 points and just a point, respectively.