Osimhen overtakes Ighalo, Musa

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After scoring twice against Sierra Leone in their 2023 AFCON qualification match, Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen on Sunday tied Samson Siasia’s Super Eagles goals total.

With Kelechi Iheanacho’s game-winning tap-in in the 94th second, the Super Eagles defeated the opposition 3-2 to advance to the tournament’s knockout rounds in Liberia.

Osimhen’s two goals, his 16th and 17th overall, allowed him to pass Odion Ighalo and Ahmed Musa, both of whom have 16 goals, and move into joint sixth place with former Eagles coach Siasia among Nigeria’s all-time leading goal scorers.

After helping Napoli win the Scudetto last season, Osimhen has made a name for himself as one of the best attackers in the world. He is currently one goal away from Obafemi Martins’ record of 18 goals.

With 20 more goals than Osimhen, late Rashidi Yekini currently leads the chart with 37 from 67 appearances, but supporters believe Osimhen can topple his record if he keeps up his current rate of production for the Eagles.

In a stunning 10-0 victory for Nigeria over Sao Tome and Principe in the AFCON qualifying round last June, Osimhen scored four goals. His remarkable goal-scoring performance came only days after he scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Sierra Leone on the first day of the qualifiers.

The Nigerian international has now set his sights on the country record after recently breaking Geoge Weah’s record and becoming the highest-scoring African in Serie A history with 50 goals.

No Eagles striker has been able to match the late Yekini’s goals total since his retirement in 1998. Yakubu Aiyegbeni, a former striker for Everton, and Segun Odegbami, a 1980 AFCON winner, are second and third, respectively, with 23 and 21 goals, respectively.

“I used to say before that it will be a big shoe to fill, but with the kind of quality that I possess, and the kind of determination that I’ve acquired in my career, I think I can actually break it or even surpass it,” Osimhen told Naijafootballers.

“But it won’t be easy and that won’t make me the greatest Nigerian striker ever. For me, we still have the likes of Rashidi Yekini, Odion Ighalo, Obafemi Martins and the rest of them, but now I believe it’s my time and it’s my turn and I think I can utilise it very well.”

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