Nigeria put in a ruthless performance to crush São Tomé and Príncipe 10-0 in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier played at Stade Adrar in Agadir, Morocco, on Monday afternoon.
The Super Eagles had six different scorers – including a four-goal haul from star man Victor Osimhen – as they emphatically claimed top spot on the Group A standings, shrugging off a somewhat underwhelming showing in last week’s 2-1 win over Sierra Leone.
It was also an all-time record win for Nigeria’s senior men’s team, eclipsing a 10-1 win over Dahomey (now Benin) from way back in 1959.
Nigeria can be joined on six points at the top of the log by Guinea-Bissau, who have a clash away to Sierra Leone later on Monday.
Nigeria bossed the game almost from kick-off and duly claimed the lead in the 10th minute: Moses Simon floated in a cross from the left flank which Sao Tome goalkeeper Anastacio Braganca came for but failed to reach, allowing Victor Osimhen to head into an empty net for 1-0.
The Super Eagles had to wait until the 28th minute for their second goal, with Osimhen turning provider, as he ran onto Ola Aina’s ball over the top of the defence and stabbed it across the box for Simon to bundle home at close range.
Osimhen provided another assist for the third goal. The striker crossed from the right to pick out the run of Terem Moffi, who did well to hold off the attention of two defenders, turn and strike home a low shot for 3-0 in the 43rd minute.
Nigeria were three goals up at halftime and needed less than three minutes of the second half to add to their advantage: Osimhen scored a second goal on 48 minutes when he nodded home Ademola Lookman’s clipped cross from the right of the penalty area.
The away side’s fifth goal was a beauty, with defensive midfielder Peter Etebo scoring a fine strike direct from a free kick in the 55th minute – his right-footed shot clipped the underside of the crossbar on its way into the back of the net.
Goal No 6 arrived on the hour mark, with Moffi sweeping home left-back Zaidu Sanusi’s low cross, and No 7 followed three minutes later when Lookman crashed home a loose ball after Moffi was denied by the goalkeeper.
Osimhen completed his hat-trick in the 68th minute, springing the offside trap before firing a low shot through Braganca to make it 8-0, and he racked up a fourth goal in the 84th minute – again beating the offside trap to meet Ahmed Musa’s through ball before chipping beyond the ‘keeper for 9-0.
The race was on to see if the Super Eagles could hit double figures and they were granted the chance in injury time when substitute Emmanuel Dennis was tripped up in the 18-yard area. The Watford striker easily converted from the spot to wrap up a 10-0 scoreline.
The teams will return to Afcon qualification action in September, with São Tomé and Príncipe facing Sierra Leone, while Nigeria will tackle Guinea-Bissau.