Nigeria’s Olympic team qualified for the final round of the 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers after edging Libya 4-2 on aggregate, with Victor Osimhen netting a hat-trick in their 4-0 win in Asaba, Completesport.com reports.
The Nigerian side led by Imama Amapakabo last Wednesday lost 2-0 in the first leg at the Bengerdan Stadium Tunisia, but fought back in the second leg to win 4-0 and qualify for the group stages of the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations.
Osimhen scored a hat-trick and provided an assist for Uche Okereke to seal the win for Nigeria’s Olympic team.
The Imama Amakpakabo’s side started the match brightly offensively and made the first attempt on goal in the fifth minute when Kelechi Nwakali’s effort went inches wide of the upright.
Osimhen came close in the ninth minute but his shot on goal was saved by the goalkeeper. Awoniyi was next to try his luck on goal but his shot from close range failed to hit the target.
In the 18th minute, Nwakali came close again, this time hitting the crossbar from a free-kick.
Sporting Charleroi striker, Osimhen broke the deadlock for Nigeria in his second attempt on target firing in a loose ball from inside the Libyan box off a Samuel Chukwueze free-kick.
In the second half, the 20-year-old doubled his side’s lead in the 67th minute when he pounced on a loose ball from the goalkeeper.
The former U-17 and U-20 striker completed his hattrick eight minutes from time when he finished off a delightful pass from Nwakali to send the Asaba fans into jubilation.
In additional time Samuel Chukwueze missed a sitter to make it 4-0 for Nigeria when he failed to tuck in Osimhen’s through ball. However Spezia striker Okereke was on hand to tap in Osimhen’s backheel to complete the routing of Libya.
By Johnny Edward