Former Golden Eaglets star Victor Osimhen grabbed a hat-trick on Monday as Nigeria’s under-23 male national football team defeated their Libyan counterparts 4-0 on Monday in Asaba, to reach the third qualifying round of the 2020 Olympic Games football tournament.
The match, which was played at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, was also the second leg of a qualification round for the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The Nigerian side had lost 0-2 in the first leg played on Wednesday in Tunisia, Libya’s home ground for now, and have now advanced to the qualifiers’ next round 4-2 aggregate.
The second leg game, which was watched by a handful of spectators, saw the Libyan team putting up a defensive play right from the first blast of the whistle.
However, the Nigerian team took total control of the midfield, as they mounted sustained attacks on the Libyan defence.
The Nigerian team’s efforts finally paid off in the 33rd minute of play, when Osimhen grabbed his first goal of the game from a rebound after a free-kick hit the upright.
On resumption of the second half, the Nigerian team went on the offensive in their search for more goals, forcing the Libyan defence to commit blunders.
Osimhen, on loan to Charleroi from Bundesliga outfit VfL Wolfsburg, again rose to the occasion, as he slotted in the second goal of the game in the 64th minute after the Libyan goalkeeper, Aymar Altihar, mistakenly parried a cross onto his path.
He later grabbed his hat-trick in the 75th minute following a goalmouth scrabble, after the Libyan defence failed to clear a Nigeria cross inside the penalty box.
Before the ovation which trailed the goal could die down, Nigeria’s Chidozie Okereke grabbed the fourth goal on the dot of 90 minutes for Nigeria.
The Nigerian squad finished the match four million naira richer as senior team captain Ahmed Musa promised a million naira for every goal his compatriots scored.