Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen, will have Yakubu Aiyegbeni’s all-time Nigeria goal-scoring record in his sight when he leads Nigeria’s attack against Saudi Arabia in an international friendly on Friday (today) in Portugal, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The Napoli striker has been in prolific form for the Eagles, scoring 10 goals in his last six games — which saw him emerge as the highest scorer in the African Cup of Nations qualifying campaign.
The feat took his tally to 20 in 27 games for Nigeria, meaning he is just a strike shy of Yakubu Aiyegbeni’s goal haul of 21 goals in 57 games between 2000 and 2012.
A brace from Osimhen will see him surpass the former Everton striker’s goals for Nigeria to become the third-highest scorer in the history of Nigerian football.
The late Rashidi Yekini remains Nigeria’s all-time top scorer with 37 goals, followed by Segun Odegbami, who scored 23 goals in 46 games for the national team from 1976 to 1982.
The 24-year-old Osimhen will also aim to improve his scoring form in friendlies for the Eagles against the Green Falcons having scored just once in six friendly encounters.
Osimhen made his competitive debut for Nigeria in a 2-0 loss to South Africa in 2017 and scored his first goal for the from the spot in a 2-2 draw against Ukraine in Dnipro in 2018.
The Napoli star was a member of the Nigerian squad to the 2019 AFCON in Egypt, where he made only one appearance — the third-place match.
He missed out on the delayed AFCON edition in Cameroon in 2022 over COVID-19 related issues, but started off the qualification for the 2023 AFCON in sparkling form helping Nigeria win both of their first two matches.
Osimhen netted a goal against Sierra Leone and another four goals in a 10–0 win against São Tomé and Príncipe. In the reverse fixture at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo on September 10, Osimhen scored his second international hat-trick in Nigeria’s 6–0 win against the minnows, finishing the 2023 AFCON qualifiers as top scorer with 10 goals.