SUPER Eagles striker Victor Osimhen is closing in on the scoring tally of the likes of Nwankwo Kanu and Austin Okocha after scoring his 11th international goal yesterday in Nigeria’s laboured 2-1 victory over the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone.
Yesterday at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja, the Eagles had to come from behind to scrape narrow victory over Sierra Leone. In a continuation of their recent poor form, the Eagles were very wasteful in front of goal and remained insecure at the back, as their defence was carved open with relative ease by the Sierra Leonians.
Although the Eagles managed to go home with the three points in the African Cup of nations qualifier, the performance has raised a lot of doubts about new manager José Peseiro. Nigeria struggled in the early stages of the match and Osimhen started the game looking isolated upfront with Moses Simon and Samuel Chukwueze operating ineffectively too far behind him.
Even when the Eagles dominated possession, the kind of defensive frailty that cost them at the Africa Cup of Nations in January was all too obvious. After every turn over, Sierra Leone looked dangerous and in the 11th minute, striker John Morsay found the opener with a header following a swift counter-attack.
Minutes later, the away side would hit the post after yet another break as the Nigerian defence looked shambolic. However, ultimately, individual quality paid off as Alex Iwobi combined well with Moses Simon before placing a lovely shot across goal to level the scores
Just before half time, Osimhen would then fire home a winner with five minutes to go, allowing the Eagles to go into the break ahead. In the second half, despite having a plethora of chances, the Eagles were unable to make any of them count, with Chukwueze in particular being guilty of missing a brilliant chance to wrap the game up.
Osimhen, however, was the star of the show as his 11th strike in 21 appearances takes him above Victor Moses and Peter Osaze Odemwingie on Nigeria’s all-time goalscorer chart. He is now only one goal short of Kanu’s haul of 12 goals, two short of Amokachi’s 13, three behind Okocha’s 14 and five behind Odion Ighalo’s 16.
Rashidi Yekini’s 37 goal haul is still miles away from Osimhen’s reach, but the Napoli striker’s goal ratio of 0.52 is only bettered by two Nigerian strikers in history. There are Yekini (0.63) and Sunday Oyarekhua (0.60).