Nigeria ended their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign on an emphatic note, as Victor Osimhen netted an impressive hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Sao Tome at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Sunday night.
The Super Eagles applied pressure from the get go and played most of their football in advanced positions up the pitch.
Nigeria were awarded a couple of corners inside the first five minutes of the game but failed to make the most of their opportunities.
Nigeria continued to dominate play as the 10th minute rolled on and pinned Sao Tome back during the opening exchanges of the game.
With Sao Tome buckling under the pressure, Nigeria took the lead in the 13th minute as Osimhen scored his eighth goal of their qualifying campaign.
From a corner situation, Osimhen rose highest to head home in the middle of the penalty area.
The game reached a tacky period around the 20th minute mark, with neither side progressing in the final third.
However, the Super Eagles managed to double their lead in the 27th minute as Ademola Lookman added his name to the scoresheet.
After a passing move on the edge of the Sao Tome area, Lookman made way inside the box before letting off a shot that beat the opposition goalkeeper at his near post.
Nigeria headed into the break with a 2-0 advantage as a result of Osimhen and Lookman’s efforts.
Much like in the first half, Nigeria started the second 45 off on a strong note. In making their way up the pitch, the Super Eagles pinned Sao Tome down and they were reduced to defending on the edge of their penalty area.
As a result of the early pressure, Taiwo Awoniyi added his name on the scoreboard with a right-footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal which was assisted by Kelechi Iheanacho.
Nigeria continued to boss play and actively searched for a fourth goal after the hour mark.
However, Sao Tome did enough to fend off the Super Eagles attacking advancements.
However, the Super Eagles were awarded a penalty in the 68th minute after Osimhen was fouled by the Sao Tome goalkeeper inside the area.
Osimhen made no mistake from the spot, as Nigeria added a fourth goal on the night.
Osimhen completed his hat-trick 10 minutes from time, with a right-footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner, which was assisted by Samuel Chukwueze.
While having full control of the game, Nigeria added a sixth goal in the 84th minute, after infiltrating the Sao Tome penalty area.
In an inviting position inside the area, Chukwueze’s left-footed shot beat Ronaldo Silva at his far post.
Nigeria: (2) 6 (Osimhen 13’ 68’ 79’, Lookman 27’ Awoniyi 51’, Chukwueze 84’
Sao Tome: (0) 0
NIGERIA: Uzoho, Aina (Ebuehi 73’), Ajayi, Onyemaechi, Bassey, Ndidi (Onyedika 82’), Onyeka (Aribo 64’), Lookman, Iheanacho (Chukwueze 73’), Awoniyi (Boniface 64’), Osimhen
SAO TOME: Silva, Fernandez, dos Ramos, Oliveira, R.Fernandes, Rogério Fernandes, Da Silva (Varela 74’), Afonso (Viegas 71’), Leal, Marcos, Cardoso (Viegas 77’)