2019 Africa Cup of Nations: Odion Ighalo breaks 25-year old AFCON record after clinching top scorer’s gong

Published on: 20 July 2019
2019 Africa Cup of Nations: Odion Ighalo breaks 25-year old AFCON record after clinching top scorer’s gong
Nigeria's forward Odion Ighalo greets the fans during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Round of 16 football match between Nigeria and Cameroon at the Alexandria Stadium in the Egyptian city on July 6, 2019. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP) (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

Odion Ighalo claimed the top goalscorer of the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt ahead of Algerian Rihad Mahrez and Senegalese Sadio Mane.

The last time a player scored five goals and above at African Cup of Nations was in 1994 making him the first player to score five goals in 25 years.

It means Ighalo has broken the record of his late compatriot, Rashidi Yekini as he becomes the second Nigerian player to score 5 goals in a single African Cup of Nations tournament.

The Shanghai Shenhua forward came into the tournament as the top scorer in qualifiers with eight goals.

Amidst all criticism from some Nigerian fans and his almost retirement after the World Cup when he and his family received death threats, the talisman shone bright with goals helping the Super Eagles to a bronze medal spot.

In the third place game against Tunisia, Odion Ighalo was the only player born before 1990 on the pitch (among the 22 starters) and it was his goal that sealed the victory for Nigeria.

Besides, Ighalo’s brace against Cameroon was the first brace a Nigerian player will score in the AFCON since Victor Moses (vs Ethiopia) in 2013.

The player resigned from international football after the game against Tunisia citing Nigerians huge criticism of him.

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