Simy Nwankwo just can’t stop scoring and the Crotone hitman was at it again in the thrilling 4-3 win against Parma in Serie A, finding the net twice to set two career landmarks.
Having equalled Yakubu Aiyegbeni as the highest-scoring Nigerian in Europe’s top five leagues this century just last week, Simy notched his 18th and 19th goals of the season including the winner at Parma to break, extend and claim outright ownership of the record.
Aiyegbeni set the old mark nine years ago in the 2011-12 season when he plundered 17 goals for Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League.
But that wasn’t to be the only accomplishment for the record-breaking 28-year-old beanpole forward on Saturday.
Simy’s brace brought his tally in Italian top-flight history to 29 goals, which makes him the highest-scoring Nigerian in the history of Serie A, obliterating the 28 goals total of another Super Eagles legend Obafemi Martins who held the record previously.
Martins scored 28 goals in 88 appearances for Inter Milan between 2002 and 2006. Simy scored 10 goals in Crotone’s previous stint in Serie A, scoring 3 goals in 21 appearances in the 2016-17 season and 7 goals in 23 appearances the next season as Crotone were relegated.
And it appears a similar fate might the Super Eagles target man this season despite his devastating goalscoring form with Crotone rock bottom and 13 points from safety with just five games remaining this season.
Saturday’s victory against fellow strugglers Parma might spark a remarkable Lazarus act, however, and it was Simy who scored a 69th-minute penalty to seal all three points for the visitors who very nearly threw victory away.
The visitors had led 3-1 courtesy of first half goals from Lisandro Magallan, Simy and Adam Ounas with Hernani scoring for the hosts before Gervinho and Valentin Mihaila engineered a second half turnaround to draw Parma level.
It was left to Simy to rescue the game for his side after Yordan Osorio felled Arkadiusz Reca in the box and the Nigerian held his nerve to dispatch an effortless penalty that sealed all three points for Crotone and etched his name in the history books.