Odion Jude Ighalo was menacing as he grabbed a hat trick as Nigeria leaped to second in Group E with a 4-0 victory over Libya in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification fixture at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Saturday.
Jamilu Collins started at left back, while Samuel Kalu and Oghenekaro Etebo were also selected as head coach Gernot Rohr left John Ogu and Henry Onyekuru on the bench.
Ighalo set the tone inside the opening four minutes when the Changchun Yatau star converted his spot kick.
Six minutes later, Nigeria had a super chance to double their lead when Ighalo couldn’t convert a simple chance.
Oghenekaro Etebo then had the chance to score from a header which and hit it the bar.
Libya were almost level in the 22nd minute. Nigeria number one Francis Uzoho was on hand to make a point-blank save.
The Mediterranean Knights were dangerous on the counter-attack, but Nigeria were the more incisive in the final third, and Jamilu Collins saw a strike struck the woodwork in the 44th minute as the hosts looked to double their advantage.
Nigeria’s second of the afternoon came in the 58th minute when Alex Iwobi worked some space outside the Libya box before expertly picking out Ighalo who showed great cutting edge to score as Rohr’s side took full control of the match.
The hosts had another opportunity in the 69th minute when Ighalo fired low to the net.
In the 90th minute, Samuel Kalu was not to be denied, however, with the winger curling the ball to the back of the net.
Next up for Nigeria is a trip to the Stade Taïeb Mhiri in the city of Sfax to face Libya on Tuesday 16th October.