Odion Ighalo scored a hat-trick for the Super Eagles of Nigeria to make it back-to-back wins for the team in their quest to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, beating the Libyan National team by 4-0 at the Godswill Akpabio stadium in Uyo on saturday.
Ighalo, who has endured a torrid period as a striker for the Super Eagles- mainly due to his lackluster performance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, put the team ahead in the third minute of the game, slotting the ball into the net from the penalty spot after he was impeded by the Libyan goal keeper.
Nigeria had plenty of opportunities to add to their lead in the first half, with the best of chances coming in the 43rd minute after Alex Iwobi put Jamilu Collins through on goal, but the SC Paderborn left back’s shot just skimmered off the post.
Going into the second half, the Super Eagles didn’t take too long to add to their lead as Iwobi who gave a stellar performance in the game gave a pin point pass in the 48th min to Ighalo, as the Changchun Yatai man rounded the goal keeper to double the lead for the Super Eagles.
Ighalo’s third goal came in rather fortuitous circumstances after he latched on to an Ahmed Musa’s cross from close range. His initial effort was saved by the Libyan goal keeper- who also doubled as their skipper for the day, but after a bit of scrabble inside the 18-yard box, the striker was able to find the back of the net for his third goal of the game.
After missing plethora of chances in the course of the game, Samuel Kalu sent in a beautiful curler from outside the 18 yard box to make it four late into the second half.
Nigeria now move up to second in the group with six points, after the South Africans annihilated Seychelles by 6-0 in their own match. The team will now travel to Sfax in Tunisia for the return leg of the tie.