The Super Eagles concluded their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with Victor Osimhen scoring a hat-trick in the 6-0 route of Sao Tome and Principe at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium over the weekend.
The match was inconsequential as the Super Eagles had already sealed qualification to the tournament – when they beat Sierra Leone away from home 3-2 – and so there was no pressure to deliver as they had done the hard work.
However, it would be a game of pride for the team to beat an opponent they had won 10-nil against in the reverse fixture.
This time in front of a packed home audience who filled the 30,000 capacity stadium to the brim.
The game began in an expected fashion as the Super Eagles exerted their dominance early on and won numerous corner kicks as they forced saves from the goalkeeper.
Their hard work would however be rewarded as Victor Osimhen scored off an Ademola Lookman assist.
Lookman would find the back of the net himself, as he continued to threaten the defence of Sao Tome.
He got a pass from Wilfred Ndidi, cut and dribbled his way across in the 18-yard-box before firing a low shot pass the goalkeeper to make it two.
Taiwo Awoniyi missed a gilt-edged opportunity to get on the score sheet after Osimhen found him with a wonderful cut back across goal, his attacking partner however could not get a control on the ball for an easy tap in after a Sao Tome and Principe defender seemed to have gotten a foot on the ball.
He would however get on the score sheet, but it came just six minutes after the break as he stroked home from a Kelechi Iheanacho assist.
Victor Osimhen won himself a penalty much later, after he was sent through on goal, but the goalkeeper appeared to have caught him in flight after the Forward skipped past him.
He went on to score the ensuing penalty which took him past Obafemi Martins and put him level on goals with Ikechukwu Uche.
The Ballon d’Or nominee then completed his hat-trick, eleven minutes from time, after collecting a pass from Samuel Chukwueze in a sleek move. The goal sent him clear of Ikechukwu Uche on the Super Eagles all-time goal scorers ranking.
Chukwueze added the final goal of the game as new boy Victor Boniface dribbled across and set up the winger with a sleek through pass.