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Napoli’s Osimhen becomes Afcon qualification’s joint-top scorer

The Super Eagle shared the individual accolade with Chipolopolo star Daka following the completion of the qualification series on Wednesday night

Nigeria international and Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, has become the joint-highest goalscorer in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nation qualification.

Profiting from an assist from Kelechi Iheanacho, the 22-year-old opened the scoring for Gernot Rohr’ men as the Super Eagles silenced Lesotho 3-0 in their last Group L fixture at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Tuesday.

It was the former Lille star’s fifth goal in the campaign in five matches and that places him top of the scoring charts alongside RB Salzburg and Zambia international Patson Daka.

Osimhen opened his account in the three-time African champions’ 2-1 defeat of Benin Republic inside Godswill Akpabio International Stadium via the penalty spot, while Samuel Kalu sealed the comeback win in the 62nd minute.

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In the second game against Lesotho at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru, he found the net on two occasions as Gernot Rohr’s men sealed a 4-2 away triumph over the Crocodiles in the six-goal thriller

His fourth goal came in Nigeria’s 4-4 draw with Sierra Leone at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City. Unfortunately, he was stretched off injured owing to a severe shoulder injury.

That knock side-lined him from featuring for his Italian Serie A outfit for several weeks and ultimately the reverse fixture against John Keister’s Leone Stars in the National Stadium Freetown – an encounter which ended in a 0-0 draw.

He returned against the Squirrels, albeit, he could not find the net as super-sub Paul Onuachu’s last-gasp strike settling the low-scoring fixture at the Stade Charles de Gaulle, Porto-Novo.

For Daka, his first goal came in the 2-1 home defeat to Zimbabwe – with Khama Billiat’s brace helping the Warriors to a remarkable win at the National Heroes Stadium, Lusaka.

The Austria based star got a double in his side’s penultimate encounter versus Algeria, scoring a goal in each half as Chipolopolo played a 3-3 home draw.

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In Zambia’s last Group H encounter, he was on target twice again as his team secured a 2-0 away win against Milutin Sredojevic’s Zimbabwe. Even with that, the 2012 African champions failed to qualify for Cameroon 2022.

Osimhen and Daka have returned to their respective teams as European leagues resume over the weekend. Unbeaten in their last six games, Napoli welcome Crotone to Rome while Salzburg host Sturm Graz on Sunday, April 4.

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