It was a successful outing for Odion Ighalo who scored a hat-tick as Nigeria defeated Libya 4-0 in the first leg of their Nations Cup qualifier on Saturday.
Ighalo made it two goals in two games for the Super Eagles as he powered Nigeria to an early lead courtesy of a penalty at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Saturday.
Ighalo’s first goal [penalty]pic.twitter.com/ewNm3ZbgoG
— Wolexis.com (@wolexis) October 13, 2018
Gernot Rohr’s side continued from where they stopped against Seychelles in their last outing, with Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi pulling the strings for Nigeria.
Ighalo got the opening goal early in the game after winning a penalty, which he duly converted, after being brought down by Libya’s goalkeeper Mohamed Abdaula.
Better view of Iwobi playing number 10, and the assist to Ighalo to make 🇳🇬 2-0 pic.twitter.com/0GIsAOPNVZ
— Kay Way (@nutmegiwobi) October 13, 2018
Minutes later, the 29-year-old forward went down to the challenge of Abdaula by the referee from DR Congo thumbed down penalty pleas from the Nigerians.
Libya almost got the equaliser in the 12th minute after Mohamed Abdussalam’s header was brilliantly saved by Francis Uzoho after Motasem Sabbou had launched a cross inside the Eagles’ penalty area.
Ighalo completes a hat-trick vs. Libya (3-0) [Ahmed Musa assist] pic.twitter.com/z8VeDKog6R
— o.o (@Okwuchiii) October 13, 2018
The brilliant Iwobi nearly turned provider minutes later as he precise through-ball sent left-back, Jamilu Collins through on goal but the defender was denied by the crossbar as the Eagles went into the break with a one goal lead.
Nigeria doubled their lead in the second half as Ighalo profited off a defense-splitting pass from Iwobi to make it 2-0.
The China-based striker got his hat-trick with a simple goal after Libya’s Ahmed Eltarbi had goofed Ahmed Musa’s cross.
GOAL OF THE DAY!
Samuel Kalu 🙇
— Soar Super Eagles 🦅 (@SoarSuperEagles) October 13, 2018
There was still time for one more goal as Samuel Kanu scored a bender after receiving the ball from Henry Onyekuru.
The Super Eagles go into their return leg in Sfax as second-best team in Group E behind South Africa.