Nigeria records biggest victory ever against Sao Tome



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The Nigerian national football team made headlines in June by recording their biggest ever victory. The 10-0 rout, which came against African minnows Sao Tome and Principe in a qualifying match for next year’s edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), eclipsed their previous record of 10-1 against Benin (then known as Dahomey) in 1959.

The match was also notable for the fact that young starlet Victor Osimhen, who plays his club football for Napoli, was on target four times, recording his first hat-trick for the national side in the process.

The result stands Nigeria in good stead as they aim to wrap up qualifying for the continental showpiece as early as possible.

A breathless encounter

Nigeria went into this match as strong favourites among sportsbook sites such as sporty bet, though few could have predicted the ruthlessly clinical manner in which they would clinch the win.

It didn’t take long for either Osimhen or the Super Eagles to signal their intent, either, with the 23-year-old finding the net inside 10 minutes.

Fellow strikers Moses Simon and Terem Moffi added their names to the scoresheet before half-time, meaning Nigeria cruised into the break with a 3-0 lead.

However, Jose Peseiro’s men were not content to rest on those laurels and came flying out of the traps in the second period. Within minutes of the restart, Osimhen had added his second, before Moffi joined him on a brace and Ademola Lookman got in on the action around the hour mark.

The Super Eagles still weren’t done. In the final 30 minutes, Osimhen scored two more, while Peter Etebo and Emmanuel Dennis completed the demolition of a nation ranked 183rd in the world by FIFA. Nigeria, by contrast, enjoy the relatively lofty position of 30th and the gulf in class between the two teams was amply displayed on this occasion.

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In poll position

Nigerian fans were left deflated earlier this year after crashing out of the World Cup qualifiers to Ghana. However, the nature of this statement victory, alongside a previous 2-1 triumph over Sierra Leone in their opening AFCON qualifier, has gone some way towards steadying the ship and instilling belief in the Super Eagles once more.

The other team in the group, Guinea Bissau, swatted aside Sao Tome with a crushing 5-1 win in their opening match, too.

However, the fact that they were held by Sierra Leone to a 2-2 draw in the second-round tie means that Nigeria are firmly in the driving seat for the games ahead.

The top two from the group will progress to the final tournament, which is due to be held in Ivory Coast in June and July next summer.

Nigeria is the fifth most successful team in the history of the AFCON tournament and they will be hoping to add to their current haul of three trophies next year.

If successful, it would be the first time they had emerged victorious in the competition in a decade and would draw them level with Ghana, the team which eliminated them so cruelly from this year’s World Cup.

The Super Eagles might not be going to Qatar this winter – but a thumping 10-0 win against Sao Tome is the biggest in their history and should provide some cold comfort.

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