BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
Odion Ighalo has become Nigeria’s most potent striker of the moment as he inspired the Super Eagles to survive a Libyan comeback, winning 3-2 to shoot to the summit of Group E of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series in Sfax, Tunisia.
What a nerve cracking encounter as the Super Eagles’ initial absolute dominance suddenly faded, leading to Libya cancelling an early period two goal deficit before Ighalo restored Nigeria’s lead.
The victory brought Nigeria’s point haul to nine, one higher than South Africa that topped the group after the matchday 3 matches last Saturday. It now means that the group leadership kept changing from matchday2 through to matchday 4.
After matchday 2, Libya shot ahead following their barren draw with South Africa. Their loss to Nigeria last Saturday shot South Africa ahead before Nigeria assumed the leadership on Tuesday after beating Libya while South Africa unexpectedly managed a draw with Seychelles.
As it is, a win next month against South Africa assures the Super Eagles a qualification as they would have assumed an unassailable lead.
Two quick strikes in Sfax put Nigeria on the path of victory as Ighalo scored his fifth goal of the qualifying series in the 14th minute followed by that of Ahmed Musa three minutes later set the tone for Nigeria’s win.
But Libya fought back through Mohamed Zubya and Ahmad Benali. Ighalo’s goal nine minutes from time ensured the Super Eagles continue their 100 percent record since after their below-par World Cup campaign in the summer.