Osimhen hits four as Nigeria create AFCON record by winning 10-0


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Johannesburg (AFP) – Napoli striker Victor Osimhen scored four goals as Nigeria crushed Sao Tome and Principe 10-0 in Morocco on Monday to record the biggest victory in African Cup of Nations qualifying history (AFCON) .

Qualifying for the biennial competition has been held since 1961 and Ghana, Kenya and Libya shared the record with eight-goal wins until Nigeria went wild in the Atlantic resort of Agadir.

Nigeria led 3-0 at half-time on Matchday 2 of Group A and the other scorers were Terem Moffi (two), captain Moses Simon, Oghenekaro Etebo, Ademola Lookman and Emmanuel Dennis.

With Nigeria 153 places higher in the world rankings than Sao Tome, a one-sided encounter was expected, but after a fairly competitive first half, the match turned into shooting practice for the Super Eagles.

Nigeria eclipsed their previous highest tally in a Nations Cup qualifier of seven against Burkina Faso in 1991 when the now deceased Rashidi Yekini netted four.

It was a home game for Sao Tome but had to be moved to southern Morocco as the small island nation lacks an international standard stadium.

Goalkeeper Anastacio Braganca, one of several Sao Tomeans in the squad, has conceded 15 goals in two games after Guinea-Bissau beat him on five on matchday one last week.

Osimhen has reveled in the space provided by the minnows and is the top scorer in AFCON 2023 qualifying with five goals, one more than reigning African Footballer of the Year Sadio Mane of Senegal.

Seriously injured last year while playing for Napoli, Osimhen wore a protective mask for the first half but threw it off for the full 45 seconds.

The 23-year-old nodded to the three-time African champions in nine minutes at the almost empty 45,000-seat Grand Stade d’Agadir.

Lead shot in Guinea-Bissau

He then created goals for Simon and Moffi before half-time as Nigeria dominated Game 4 under Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro after a win over Sierra Leone and friendly losses to Mexico and Ecuador.

Nigeria scored five more goals in 17 minutes shortly after the restart to take an 8-0 lead midway through the second half.

Osimhen netted the ninth goal six minutes from time and substitute Emmanuel Dennis completed the islanders’ humiliation by converting a penalty in added time.

Sao Tome qualified by edging Mauritius 4-3 on aggregate in a preliminary game, but was later disqualified by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) because one of the teams broke the rules of the Covid-test. 19.

The team, popularly known as The Falcons and True Parrots Team, appealed to another CAF committee and were reinstated just nine days before their first group match.

Nigeria, defending champions Senegal, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali and Morocco have won both early qualifiers for the 2023 tournament in Ivory Coast.

Guinea-Bissau reportedly fancied their chances of winning twice too after Jorginho scored twice in five minutes shortly after half-time to take a two-goal lead over Sierra Leone in Conakry.

But the Wild Dogs were down to 10 men when Sana Gomes was sent off, Augustus Kargbo halved the deficit and Musa Kamara equalized in the 87th minute to snatch a 2-2 draw.

In Group K, humble Liberia conceded home advantage to Morocco because they lack a CAF-approved stadium and, unsurprisingly, fell 2-0 with Faycal Fajr and Youssef En-Nesyri scoring in Casablanca.

Matchdays three and four are scheduled for September 19-27, although Senegal are keen for them to be postponed so that they and fellow World Cup qualifiers Qatar Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco and Tunisia can play friendly matches.


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