Victor Osimhen scored a hat-trick as the Super Eagles of Nigeria thrashed Sao Tome and Principe 6-0 in their final African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 Group A qualifying match at the Godswill Akpabio stadium in Uyo on Sunday.
The Napoli striker, who was nominated for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award earlier this week, put Nigeria in the lead before he added two more goals in the second period as Jose Peseiro’s team entertained the Uyo crowd to a spectacle.
Peseiro, who renewed his contract earlier in the week, fielded the usual suspects in attack, but rested vice-captain William Troost-Ekong for Bruno Onyemaechi.
It took just 14 minutes for Osimhen to get the crowd jumping as he headed into an unguarded net from Ademola Lookman’s corner kick.
The Atalanta winger doubled the lead on 27 minutes with a fine solo effort before a second half goals glut.
Awoniyi made it three with a drilled shot into the corner before Osimhen scored twice in quick succession — a penalty and poked finish.
The hat-trick takes Osimhen’s tally in the qualifiers to 10 goals, making him the highest goalscorer of the series.
Samuel Chukwueze, a substitute, scored the final goal to seal an easy victory for the superb Eagles.
The win confirms the Super Eagles as Group A winners with an unassailable 15 points from six matches.