Ballon d’Or nominee Victor Osimhen secured a hat-trick, bringing his total goals to 10 in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign. This remarkable performance also secured Nigeria’s position as group winners in the race to Cote d’Ivoire.
After a dominant 10-0 win over their opponents in their first encounter in June 2022, the Eagles, who had already secured their spot in the finals, faced no significant threats at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.
In front of a packed crowd of 30,000 spectators, they started strongly, with Semi Ajayi’s header being saved by goalkeeper Ronaldo Silva off a corner kick by Kelechi Iheanacho in the second minute.
Silva remained busy throughout the match, making crucial saves, but he couldn’t stop Osimhen, who scored with a header from close range off a corner kick by Ademola Lookman.
Nigeria’s dominance continued, with Lookman adding a second goal in the 27th minute after receiving a pass from captain Wilfred Ndidi.
The crowd erupted when Taiwo Awoniyi scored in the second half, and Osimhen sealed his ninth goal of the qualifying campaign with a penalty kick in the 70th minute.
With 10 minutes remaining, Osimhen completed his hat-trick after a flowing move involving Samuel Chukwueze and Awoniyi.
Chukwueze added a sixth goal with five minutes left, capping off a fantastic performance.
Osimhen was named MTN’s Most Valuable Player of the Match, earning N1 million naira, while Lookman received the Man of the Match award and a cheque for N1 million from Nigerian Breweries PLC.
Next, the Super Eagles will face Lesotho’s Crocodiles in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Uyo on 17 November.