AFON Qualifiers: Ighalo bags hat-trick as Nigeria Wallops the Mediterranean Knights

The Super Eagles of Nigeria on Saturday evening walloped the Mediterranean Knights of Libya by 4-0 in an AFCON Qualifying match.

Odion Ighalo opened scoring for Nigeria in the 3rd minute of the encounter, when Libya Goalie Mohamed Abdaula draw down the Nigerian in an attempt to regain the ball and the Referee Jean-Jacques Ndala Ngambo from DR Congo pointed to the spot for Nigeria to get the first and only penalty kick of the game, the spot kick was converted by Odion Jude Ighalo to give Nigeria the lead. 6 minutes late Ighalo again had a slight collision with the Goalie once again in Libya 18-yard-box but the referee waved a penalty appeal from the player.
The later part of the first half was dominated by the Libyans with the Mediterranean Knights coming close in the 12th minutes, Mohamed  Abdussalam's header almost beat Elche Goalkeeper Uzoho but he was forced to make a vital save to keep Nigeria lead.

The first half of the encounter ended 1-0 and the Super Eagles of Nigeria with the lead.

The second half started with a lot of excitements for Nigeria with Alex Iwobi in conjunction with Ola Aina being able to retrieved the midfield. In the 56th minute of the game Alex Iwobi connected to a pass from Aina to give a through pass to Odion Ighalo who dressed the ball away from the Libya Goalie to slot in Nigeria second goal of the evening.
It was celebration time for Odion Ighalo in the 68th minute after grabbing his hat-trick, following the failure of Ahmed Eltarbi to clear Ahmed Musa Solo cross from the right flank.
Henry Onyekuru who replaced Musa in the 79th minute missed a clear chance in the 82nd minute following his failure to convert a through pass from Iwobi that set him up one-on-one with the Libya Goalkeeper Abdaula. But Onyekuru efforts in Libya 18-yard-box, dragging Abdaula on the ground to set up Samuel Kalu who curled in the 4th goal for the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the 88th minute of the game.

Nigeria is now in second in Group E with 6 points following their 4-0 victory over the Mediterranean Knights and are in good position to make AFON 2019. On the other hand, South Africa defeated Seychelles 6-0 to go top of Group E and  recording 7 points in 3 matches of the AFCON Qualifiers.
Following the defeat of Libya in Nigeria, they have now dropped to 3rd position on the log, recording 4 points from 3 games while Seychelles remained pointless following their winless run in the AFCON Qualifiers.

Libya is expected to host Nigeria on Tuesday in a return leg fixture and the game will be played in Tunisia.

After 90 minutes, Nigeria 4-0 Libya, courtesy goals from Odion Ighalo and Samuel Kalu.

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