Nigeria in AFCON qualifying so far

Victor Osimhen

TUESDAY TRIVIA Nigeria in AFCON qualifying so far

Seye Omidiora 14:13 - 20.06.2023

Jose Peseiro’s Super Eagles sealed their Africa Cup of Nations place with a 3-2 win over Sierra Leone in Monrovia. We examine some numbers from the West African nation’s five group games.

A late Kelechi Iheanacho goal against Sierra Leone on Sunday means Nigeria will not wait an extra game to confirm participation at next year's Africa Cup of Nations.

However, Victor Osimhen was the star of the show, underlined by his brace, running the channels and combination with teammates.

The centre-forward is the top scorer in qualifying, finding the back of the net seven times in five games, two more than Sadio Mane, with one round of games remaining.

Victor Osimhen top scorer AFCON 2023 qualifying
No player has scored more than Nigeria's Victor Osimhen in AFCON qualifying (Sofascore)

Osimhen ended the AFCON 2021 qualifiers with five goals, joint-top scorer with Patson Daka, and the Napoli striker could be set for consecutive individual success.

Jose Peseiro’s men won four games out of five to seal qualification, with a 1-0 defeat by Guinea-Bissau the only blot in their campaign.

Stats delineating Nigeria's AFCON 2023 qualifying campaign

Going deeper into the numbers, Pulse Sports look closely at some stats from the team’s five games.

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  • 16 – The number of goals scored by Peseiro’s team in qualifying so far.
  •  8 - There have been eight different goal scorers — Alex Iwobi, Osimhen, Moses Simon, Terem Moffi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Ademola Lookman, Emmanuel Dennis and Kelechi Iheanacho.
  • 2 – Only two of the team’s 16 goals have been penalties — Dennis against Sao Tome and Simon against Guinea-Bissau.
  • 1 – Peter Etebo’s free-kick against Sao Tome is Nigeria’s sole strike from dead-ball situations in qualifying, one of the team’s two goals from outside the box.
  •  7 – Osimhen’s seven goals have been from open play.
  • 4 – Osimhen’s four-goal blitz against Sao Tome is the most any player in qualifying has scored in a single game. Sadio Mane’s hat-trick against Benin in June 2022 comes second to the Napoli striker.
Victor Osimhen netted four times in the Super Eagles' beatdown of Sao Tome
  •  10 – Peseiro’s troops annihilated Sao Tome and Principe 10-0, setting a new record for the nation’s biggest win. Only one goal was scored from the penalty spot.
  •  3 – No player in qualifying has assisted more goals than Simon’s three.
  •  2 – Three Nigerians have each set up two goals in one match — Simon in the comeback win over Sierra Leone, Osimhen and Ahmed Musa against Sao Tome.
  •  22 – Excluding penalties, the Super Eagles have had 22 big chances. 24 if penalties are included.
  •  14 – 14 of those clear-cut chances were against Sao Tome. 15 if you include penalties.
  •  8 – Osimhen has missed eight big chances in five games. Interestingly, the next on that list — Samuel Chukwueze, Simon and Moffi — have failed to convert one.
  •  4 – Nigeria have conceded four goals in their five matches.
  •  6 – The three-time African champions have conceded six big chances in five games in qualifying.
  •  2 – The West African giants have kept two clean sheets in five games.
  •  28 – Peseiro has utilised 28 players in five games of AFCON 2023 qualifying.
  • 450 – Only Iwobi has played every minute of every game. Osimhen’s 440 minutes come close.
  •  9 – Taiwo Awoniyi has played nine minutes — after his introduction against Sierra Leone on Sunday — the fewest in the group.
  •  93 – Nigeria’s shots total in five AFCON qualifiers. 19 different players have had goal attempts.
  •  37 - The Super Eagles have hit the target 37 times from their 93 efforts at goal. 14 different players have either scored or made the goalkeeper work.
  •  28 – Osimhen unsurprisingly leads the way for goal attempts, accounting for 30 percent of the team’s shots total. The Napoli striker predictably leads the way for shots on target (12) and efforts off target (13).
  •  2 – No player has hit the frame of the goal more times than Osimhen (2).
  •  10 – No player has completed more dribbles than Chukwueze’s 10, with Bright Osayi-Samuel (8) coming close.
  • 66.7% - Despite falling behind Chukwueze, Osayi-Samuel has a higher success rate when taking on an opponent (66.7%) than the Villarreal wide attacker (43.5%).
  •  100% - Three players — Iheanacho, Calvin Bassey and Umar Sadiq — have completed every attempted dribble, albeit from a small quantity (2).
  •  28.4 – Among players to have played multiple games, Iheanacho has more accurate passes per 90 in the final third.
  •  36.6 – Iwobi has completed more passes per 90 in the opposition’s half in qualifying.
  •  0 – There have been no errors leading to goals or shots, according to Sofascore.
  •  2.9 – Surprisingly, Ademola Lookman has averaged more interceptions in Nigeria’s five games.
  •  3.8 – Ola Aina leads the way for tackles per 90 among players to have started more than one game.
  •  5.94 – Kenneth Omeruo has made more clearances per 90 than anyone else to have started more than a fixture. Semi Ajayi ranks second with 2.51.
  • 81.8% - No player has outdone Bassey’s rate of ground duels won. Amongst players with multiple starts, Osayi-Samuel (75%) rank just below the Ajax defender.
  •  100% - Omeruo has won every aerial duel contested (6). Noticeably, Ajayi has won nine aerial tussles, a 75% success rate.
  •  6 – The number of saves made by Francis Uzoho from four games. Strikingly, Adebayo Adeleye made three saves on his Nigeria debut against Sierra Leone on Sunday.