Ruthless Osimhen helps Nigeria to spirited win at Lesotho
Victor Osimhen was a man on fire in Nigeria’s 4-2 away win over Lesotho, with the Lille striker having a hand in all four goals scored by the Eagles on Sunday night.
On the heels of a difficult comeback 2-1 win over the Squirrels of Benin Republic in Wednesday, the Super Eagles of Nigeria had relatively less work to do to secure their second win of the AFCON 2021 qualifying series against the ‘Crocodiles’ of the Southern African side in the weekend fixture.
Although it was much of a one-sided affair, the Eagles had to first overcome an early scare from the hosts – having Masoabi Nkoto score the opener against the run of play in the 11th minute.
Alex Iwobi however got the visitors an equaliser 15 minutes after Samuel Chukwueze brilliantly finished Osimhen’s amazing through ball to earn the Eagles the lead before the break.
It was no way back for the Crocodiles after two quick-fire strikes from Osimhen in the 75 and 84th minutes to make it 4-1. However, Chidozie Awaziem unfortunately diverted a cross into his own net to further console the home fans at the Setsoto Stadium.
Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr made just two changes to the XI that started the Benin game with Chidozie Awaziem and Moses Simon in for Jamilu Collins and Samuel Kalu respectively.
The Setsoto Stadium came alive just after 11 minutes when Masoabi Nkoto smartly got behind Nigeria’s Semi Ajayi to smash home a glancing header to open the scoring.
The Eagles then upped their game and got rewarded with an Alex Iwobi equaliser on 26 minutes. The Everton forward found the left bottom corner after Osimhen won the ball from a Lesotho defender before laying him up at the edge of the box.
10 minutes after Osimhen played a brilliant ball over the top for Samuel Chukwueze to lob a header past the Lesotho goalkeeper for 2-1.
Just at the Crocodiles tried to build momentum late in the second-half, Osimhen ensured it was no way back for the two with to goals of his – the first a tap-in from Ola Aina’s ground cross in the 75th minute, and the second a simple finish in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper after a quick break in the 84th minute.
The Eagles now top Group L of the AFCON 2021 qualifying series having garnered six points after two matchdays.