Super Eagles first choice striker, Odion Ighalo will be looking to emerge the highest goal scorer at the forthcoming 2019 African Cup of Nations to be hosted by Egypt in June, Completesports.com reports.
Having emerged the overall African top scorer with 7 goals during the AFCON qualifiers, the 29-year old who plies his trade in the Chinese Super League is aiming to replicate same form at the Nations Cup finals.
Also at the club level, Ighalo who teamed up with Shanghai Shenhua only this year is the club’s leading scorer and currently has four goals in four gamesbto his credit. He was Changchun Yatai top scorer with 21 goals last year, but had to leave the club when they got relegated.
Ighalo is targeting the record of former Eagles star striker, late Rashidi Yekini who was the only Nigerian player to have won the overall top scorer award twice at the Nations Cup in 1992 and 1994 with four and five goals respectively.
Other notable outstanding top scorers a single tournament are the all-time AFCON top scorer, Ndaye Mutamba of Zaire with 9 goals in 1974 edition followed by Laurent Pokou of Cote d’Ivoire who scored 8 goals in 1970.
There were occasions when the award was jointly won by two or more players. Egyptian star Hossam Hassan and South African striker Benni McCarthy were top joint scorers with 7 goals each in 1998.
Other Nigerian stars who won joint awards in a single tournament are Segun Odegbami with 3 goals each in 1978 and 1980, Julius Aghahowa with 3 goals in 2002, Austin Jay Jay Okocha with 4 goals in 2004 and Emmanuel Emenike also with 4 goals in 2013.
This will be Ighalo’s first and probably the last Nations Cup outing with Nigeria having missed the last two editions in 2015 and 2017 staged in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon respectively.
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