Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen, on Sunday equalled Samson Siasia’s goals record for the Super Eagles after netting a brace against Sierra Leone during their 2023 AFCON qualifier clash, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The Super Eagles won the game 3-2 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Liberia to qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament, with Kelechi Iheanacho’s late minute tap-in sealing the ticket.
Osimhen’s two goals were his 16th and 17th respectively, leapfrogging Odion Ighalo and Ahmed Musa — who are both on 16 goals — to join former Eagles coach, Siasia, in sixth position on the all-time Nigeria goals scorers list.
Osimhen, who has established himself among the world’s finest strikers, after firing Napoli to the Scudetto last season, is now one goal shy of Obafemi Martins’ 18 goals.
Late Rashidi Yekini leads the chart with 37 goals from 67 games – 20 more than Osimhen — but fans have backed the Napoli striker to surpass his feat if he sustains his scoring form for the Eagles.
Last June, Osimhen scored four goals in a remarkable 10-0 win for Nigeria against Sao Tome and Principe in Abuja in the AFCON qualifying series. His goalscoring heroics came days after he had netted the winner in a 2-1 win over Sierra Leone on match-day one of the qualifiers.
Fresh off becoming the highest scoring African in Serie A history with 50 goals, breaking Geoge Weah’s record, the Nigeria international has now set his sights on the national record.
Since his retirement in 1998, no Eagles striker has been able to match the late Yekini’s goals record, with Segun Odegbami, a 1980 AFCON winner, in distant second with 23 goals, while former Everton striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni is third with 21 goals.
“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.”