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Editorials, Sports

Five takeaways from Super Eagles of Nigeria’s win over Sao Tome

The Super Eagles of Nigeria delivered a masterclass at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, securing their qualification for the 2023 AFCON

  • Toyosi Afolayan
  • 11th September 2023
Super Eagles

The Super Eagles of Nigeria delivered a masterclass at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, securing their qualification for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in style with a resounding 6-0 victory over Sao Tome and Principe. This emphatic win was an exhibition of football brilliance and showcased the team’s depth and potential as they looked ahead to the prestigious tournament.


Here are five key observations from Nigeria’s remarkable triumph:


Osimhen’s Hat-Trick Heroics:


Napoli striker Victor Osimhen stole the spotlight, netting a sensational hat-trick. He opened the scoring with a well-placed header, followed by a clinical finish after an impressive solo run, and then sealed his hat-trick with a confidently taken penalty. Osimhen’s hat-trick marked his 20th goal for Nigeria, catapulting him to fifth place on the all-time highest goalscorer chart for the three-time African champions.


Iheanacho’s Creative Brilliance:


While Nigeria boasts a host of attacking talents, Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho showcased his creative prowess in this match. His exceptional left foot orchestrated the build-up play for Ademola Lookman’s goal and provided a sumptuous assist for Taiwo Awoniyi. Iheanacho’s vision and playmaking abilities make him Nigeria’s creative engine, setting the stage for the attackers in front of him.


Victor Boniface’s Impressive Debut:


Among the much-discussed newcomers, Victor Boniface made his international debut and left an indelible mark. The Bayer Leverkusen talent displayed deft touches and football intelligence during his 26 minutes on the pitch. Boniface capped his debut with a fine assist for Samuel Chukwueze’s goal, hinting at a bright future with the Super Eagles. His performance underscored why he is highly rated among Germany’s young talents.


Midfield Questions Linger:


Coach Jose Peseiro opted for Frank Onyeka and Wilfred Ndidi in midfield against Sao Tome and Principe, leaving Joe Aribo and Raphael Onyedika on the bench. While Onyeka and Ndidi had a decent game, questions remain about Nigeria’s midfield dominance, especially against tougher opponents. The absence of a creative spark in midfield could be a concern as the Super Eagles prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations in January. Peseiro faces the challenge of finding the right balance in the center of the park.


AFCON Aspirations:


With the ticket to the 2023 AFCON secured, Nigeria has sent a strong message to their continental rivals. However, the team’s true test awaits in Ivory Coast in four months. Coach Peseiro must address midfield concerns and fine-tune the squad to ensure they are ready to conquer the continent. While they dismantled Sao Tome and Principe with ease, the Super Eagles need to prove their mettle against tougher opposition on the grand stage of AFCON.


Nigeria’s emphatic victory over Sao Tome and Principe was more than just a qualification. It was a statement of intent, and with the right preparations, the Super Eagles have the potential to make a strong impact at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. Football fans across Africa eagerly await their campaign in Ivory Coast, where they aim to add another chapter to their storied legacy.


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