Osimhen only behind three players in Nigeria’s top goalscorer list

Osimhen only behind three players in Nigeria’s top goalscorer list
Credit: Icon Sport

Victor Osimhen continued his recent heroics in front of goal by scoring a hat-trick in Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Qualifier against Sao Tome and Principe.

Despite having already qualified for the 2023 AFCON, the Super Eagles showed no signs of taking their foot off the gas for their final Group A clash at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.

Osimhen controls the ball during training
Credit: Icon Sport

Alongside the in-form Taiwo Awoniyi, Osimhen was given the nod to feature in attack in a strong starting lineup that also included the likes of Ademola Lookman and Wilfred Ndidi.

Having netted four times against Sao Tome in June 2022, Osimhen would have fancied his chances of getting on the score sheet once against the same opponents.

The Napoli striker wasted no time in finding the back of the net as he finished Lookman's delivery from a corner after just 13 minutes before tucking home a penalty midway through the second half.

Osimhen would later go on to wrap up his hat-trick 11 minutes from time thanks to a superb assist from Samuel Chukwueze.

In doing so, Osimhen scored his eighth, ninth, and tenth goals of the 2023 AFCON qualifying campaign, which extended his lead at the top of the scoring charts.

Osimhen's third strike against Sao Tome was also his 20th goal for Nigeria in just 26 appearances, moving him up to fourth in the Super Eagles' all-time top goalscorers list.

There is no doubt that Osimhen will have his sights set on becoming Nigeria's leading scorer in history sooner or later, but who are the three men that currently stand in his way?

Rashidi Yekini

Rashidi Yekini against Argentina
Credit: Icon Sport

Rashidi Yekini leads the way for Nigeria with 37 goals scored in 62 matches spanning a 15-year international career from 1983–1998.

More impressively, Yekini's goal ratio stands at 0.6, which is only bettered by Osimhen among the top 10 leading goalscorers for Nigeria.

Yekini also netted Nigeria's first-ever World Cup goal and remains arguably the best striker in the Super Eagles' history.

Seun Odegbami

Seun Odegbami was the star of the show for Nigeria when they won their first AFCON title in 1980 when he won the Golden Boot award.

That proved to be a parting gift for the Super Eagles as Odegbami retired a year later with 22 goals in 47 outings.

Consequently, Odegbami was later awarded a Honorary Doctorate Degree from the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE).

Yakubu Ayegbeni

Yakubu debuted for Nigeria at just 17 and scored an injury-time winner in his first international game for the Super Eagles.

That was a sign of things to come, as Yakubu went on to score 20 more times in the subsequent 57 games before retiring in 2012.

Yakubu also holds the record for the most goals scored by a Nigerian in Premier League history with 95.

This article was most recently revised and updated 7 months ago

Avid football fan who enjoys writing about the beautiful game. Firm believer of the notion that attack is the best form of defence.