U-23 AFCON: OSIMHEN’S TREBLE HELPS HIT LIBYA FOR FOUR.
After losing the first leg 2-0 in Tunisia five days ago, the Nigerian U-23 team responded with a five-star performance as they trounced Libya 4-0 in the return leg in Asaba yesterday to win the tie 4-2 on aggregate.
Chidozie Okereke got on the score sheet but it was former Golden Eaglets striker Victor Osihmen that stole the show with a hat-trick and an assist in what was a superb all round performance from the team.
Valentine Ozornwafor, Chidozie Awaziem, Goalkeeper Francis Uzoho and hat-trick hero Victor Osimhen- members of the senior National team squad for games against Seychelles and Egypt- were all brought into the side by coach Imama Amapakabo in a bid to overturn the deficit.
The match played at the Stephen Keshi Stadium and witnessed by a fairly sparse crowd saw the opening goal come on the 33rd minute through Osimhen who poked home a rebound from a free kick that hit the upright. He grabbed his second on 64minutes, stroking home a shot parried onto his partb by goal keeper Ayam Altihar. Osimhen completed his hat-trick on 75minutes, making the most of a goal mouth melee, after the Libyans failed to clear their lines. The rout was completed when Okereke scored on 90minutes to send the Nigerian team through to the final qualifying round of the 2019 U-23 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers.
The Nigerians will next take on either Kenya or Sudan in the next round with the latter taking a 2-0 lead to the second leg in Nairobi against the Kenyans.
Egypt are the hosts of the third U-23 African Cup of Nations slated for November, the top three teams from the competition will represent the continent at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.