Odion Ighalo scored a hat-trick as the Super Eagles of Nigeria thrashed Libya 4-0 in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo on Saturday.
The win saw the Eagles move to second position in Group E with six points behind South Africa who defeated Seychelles 6-O in the other group’s fixture to amass seven points.
The Mediterranean Knights of Libya drop to the third position, while Seychelles are bottom after losing all three games they have played.
Ighalo was upended in the box by the Libyan goalkeeper and he cooly sloted the resultant penalty into the net, then Libya dominated proceedings afterwards and came close to getting the equaliser in the 21st minute but Francis Uzoho made a brilliant save to deny them.
Wilfred Ndidi came close to getting Nigeria’s second goal, but his header from Oghenekaro Etebo’s free-kick went inches wide.
However, Samuel Kalu wasted another glorious opportunity for the Super Eagles nine minutes before the break, with the Libyans taking the game to the Super Eagles after the break but couldn’t find a way past the defence.
The Changchun Yatai of China striker got his second of the game in the 57th minute dribbling past the goalkeeper before finding the net after he was teed up by Alex Iwobi.
He got his hat-trick in the 68th minute after he was set up by Ahmed Musa.
Kalu added the fourth goal on the stroke of 90 minutes with a sublime effort from outside the box.