Odion Ighalo scored a hat-trick as the Super Eagles of Nigeria overpowered Libya 4-0 in their third group E game of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) clash played at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Saturday.
The Super Eagles were awarded a penalty as early as the third minute when Odion Ighalo was brought down and he took the responsibility for the penalty and fired past Mohamed Abdaula.
This was the first ever meeting between the two sides in any qualifying series and they headed into the game knowing that Seychelles were decimated by South Africa 6-0 earlier in the day.
The Super Eagles started the second half with more intensity and pressure which paid off as Odion Ighalo doubled the lead when he latched onto a well weighted ball to him by Arsenal midfielder Alex Iwobi.
In the 68th minute, Odion Ighalo completed his hat-trick when he fired into the net after Ahmed Eltarbi botched Ahmed Musa’s low cross.
Ighalo has become the 10th player to score a hat-trick for Super Eagles and the first since Nnamdi Oduamadi’s three goal haul against Tahiti in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
He was substituted for Watford forward Isaac Success to a standing ovation to the supporters from the stadium.
It will be noted that Chisom Chikatara scored three goals in Nigeria’s 4-1 win over Niger in January 2016 during the African Nations Championship (CHAN).
Samuel Kalu scored fourth goal of the game when he curled a shot past the goalkeeper after he received a pass from Henry Onyekuru
Following this victory, Nigeria have picked up their second group stage win in the group and now have six points behind South Africa.
The Super Eagles return to action when they travel to Tunisia to face Libya in the second leg on Tuesday, October 16.