BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – The Super Eagles move into second place in Group E Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers, behind leaders South Africa as Odion Ighalo’s hat trick propelled Nigeria to a 4-0 comprehensive victory over Libya.
Ighalo’s impressive showing was complimented by Samuel Kalu whose first international goal for Nigeria completed the Mediterranean Knights’ humiliation in the 2019 AFCON Qualifier played in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
The 29-year-old Ighalo scored his treble in the 4th, 58th and 69th minutes to help the three-time African champions to their most emphatic victory so far in the race to Cameroon 2019.
With this victory, the Eagles have amassed six points from three matches, one point behind South Africa that moves atop the group standings with their 6-0 bashing of Seychelles in Johannesburg earlier in the day.
Though on the same six points with Nigeria, the Libyans are now third on the table due to goals difference while Seychelles occupies bottom place with no points from their three outings.
With this feat, Ighalo now joins the enviable class of Nigerian goal poachers who have scored three times in a match wearing the national team’s colours
In 69 years of Nigeria’s senior team football, only ten players have made the hallowed ranks of hat-trick heroes. The list include Buraimoh Abudu; Paul Hamilton; and Christopher Chukwukadibia ‘Bobo Mordi’
Others are Thompson Usiyen; Segun Odegbami; gangling ‘Goals Father’ Rasheed Yekini; Victor Ikpeba; Ikechukwu Uche; and Nnamdi Oduamadi. – With agency report