Super Eagles record third straight win to go top of Group E

On Tuesday evening, Nigeria played Libya in the second of two back to back games. The Super Eagles comprehensively beat Libya in the first match on Saturday. Odion Ighalo scored his first hat-trick for Nigeria and Samuel Kalu added one to make the final score 4:0. Immediately after, the Nigerians travelled to Tunisia to prepare for the second match.

The starting line-up for the Eagles was; Francis Uzoho in goal, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Jamilu Collins and Ola Aina in defence, Wilfred Ndidi, Alex Iwobi and Oghenekaro Etebo in the middle with Samuel Kalu and Ahmed Musa playing just behind Odion Ighalo in the attack.

Nigeria were quick out of the gate with Ighalo scoring in the 14th minute. He used Musa’s quick pass to just slot the ball in the net giving the Libyan keeper no chance. Only a few minutes later, after a great pass from Ighalo, Musa scored himself, going past three defenders before beating the goalkeeper. At that moment, the Super Eagles were cruising having around 60% of the ball.

Super Eagles (www.thenff.com)

Super Eagles (www.thenff.com)

Libya managed to claw one goal back through Mohamed Zubya. Nigeria conceded a free kick not far from the box, and Zubya managed to head the ball past Uzoho. It stayed 1:2 going into the break.

A few minutes into the second half, Uzoho was booked for time wasting. Libya kept on trying to equalize and they succeeded in the 74th minute through Ahmed Benali who latched on to an Uzoho save from Sand Masaud and scored. The score was 2:2.

Coach Gernot Rohr made a substitution straight after the goal, taking Etebo out and putting John Ogu in. It turned out to be a good move as Nigeria were back in control in the 81st minute after a great shot from Ighalo for his second goal on the night and Nigeria’s third. They were back in the lead. Rohr immediately replaced Kalu with Henry Onyekuru to shore up the midfield and defend the result.

The referee added eight minutes of stoppage time to the match. Nigeria were holding on and Rohr had to make another change taking a visibly tired Iwobi out and putting in fresh Semi Ajayi. The Super Eagles held on to win this massively important game 3:2.

After the game, Nigeria found out that they were now top of the group with nine points after the Seychelles team surprisingly held South Africa to a goalless draw.

 

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