Three goals from Victor Osimhen, and strikes from Ademola Lookman, Taiwo Awoniyi and Samuel Chukwueze were all three-time African champions Nigeria required to finish their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign with aplomb at the Nest of Champions, Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Sunday evening.
The Eagles mauled Sao Tome and Principe 6-0 and the win ensures the Eagles finished atop Group A with an unassailable 15 points, five points adrift of Equatorial Guinea.
Jose Peseiro’s team had beaten the hapless Sao Tome and Principe side 10-0 in the reverse leg played in Agadir, Morocco in 2022.
The Eagles got off to a blistering start in the Group A dead rubber as they scored via a corner kick in the 13th minute.
Napoli marksman Victor Osimhen got to the and of a Kelechi Iheanacho effort and directed his textbook header to the back of the net.
The goal was Osimhen’s 8th of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Taiwo Awoniyi missed a glit-edge chance inside the six-yard box but it was not long before the team doubled their lead.
Ademola Lookman drilled home a low shot that beat the Sao Tome and Principe goalkeeper, Ronaldo Silva in the 28th minute.
Kelechi Iheanacho even had a goal ruled out for offside just before the half time break.
The third goal came seven minutes into the second half through Taiwo Awoniyi who brilliantly controlled the ball on his chest before finishing off with a half volley.
Super Eagles head coach made two substitutions with an hour played, bringing on the duo of Bayer Leverkusen striker, Victor Boniface and Southampton’s Joe Aribo for Taiwo Awoniyi and Frank Onyeka respectively.
Victor Osimhen was brought down by the visitors’ goalkeeper after Wilfred Ndidi slid the ball onto his path inside the box. He converted from the spot to make it 4-0 in the 70th minute.
Osimhen grabbed his hat trick with 10 minutes left on the clock.
The goals soon became six for the Eagles in the 85th minute when Ademola Lookman won the ball in midfield and found debutant, Boniface who selflessly laid a pass for an onrushing Samuel Chukwueze to roll the ball inside the net.
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Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.