3 things learnt as Osimhen helped Nigeria thrash Sao Tome and Principe
Three notable lessons as the Super Eagles thrashed Sao Tome and Principe 10-0 in the AFCON 2023 qualifier.
The result is the Super Eagles' heaviest winning margin in history, surpassing the 10-1 win against Dahomey (now the Benin Republic) in 1959.
Nigeria were the favourites to win so the result does not come as a surprise in a way although the emphatic nature of it is something hardly anyone could have predicted.
But beyond the fact that Nigeria are indisputably better at football than Sao Tome and Principe, here are three key lessons learnt from the game.
Sao Tome paid a high price for a high line
Sao Tome's head coach, Adriano Eusebio displayed little football knowledge for someone with a combination of two great football names.
His ill-advised decision to play a defensive high line against Nigeria played right into the strengths of their opposition who just so happened to have good passers and willing runners.
Yes, the high line worked multiple times as it caught the Super Eagles offside a lot, especially Victor Osimhen but the Santomeans failed to account for the times it wouldn't work.
Every time Nigeria beat the offside trap, they had a clear path to goal, leaving world-class talents like Osimhen and the likes with that much space can never be a good idea.
Jose Peseiro's impact
Jose Peseiro has led the Super Eagles to its most impressive victory in modern history in just his fourth game in charge albeit against a very poor Sao Tome side.
There's no disputing that Sao Tome were easy prey but Nigeria has faced worse or just as bad teams since 1959 but haven't looked this impressive.
The Super Eagles always seemed to have a level of satisfaction when games are going their way but that wasn't the case today as they maintained their hunger till the final blast of the whistle.
Perhaps Jose Peseiro has corrected that mentality or maybe it's just the players trying to impress their new manager, whatever it is, it wasn't the same under Gernot Rohr.
Super Eagles can play…on a decent surface
Turns out the Super Eagles of Nigeria are not bad at football when they play on a decent pitch, a massive contrast to the travesty that is the pitch at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
A lot of the passes and linkup plays that failed to connect against Sierra Leone and in several games before now for Nigeria were clicking with ease against Sao Tome.
Again, the Santomeans are not good at football but the surface in Morocco where they play their home games really helped the Super Eagles click at a level Nigerians are not accustomed to.
The proof will be in the return fixture, it is almost certain Nigeria will not score that many goals when the Santomeans come visiting because there's simply not a good enough pitch to accommodate the kind of football Peseiro wants to play.