Chikatara

Chikatara Bags Hat-trick As Home Eagles Spank Niger

By David Meshioye and Adeboye Amosu in Kigali:

 

The home-based Super Eagles defeated Niger Republic 4-1 in their first game at the Championship for African Nations on Monday here in Kigali.

Goals from Osas Okoro and a  Chisom Chikatara hat-trick sealed the win for the Eagles.

Prince Aggre had the Eagles first chance less than one minute into the game but his low shot was gathered by Alzouma Inoussa in goal for Niger.

In the seventh minute Idrissa Garba tried to lob the ball over Ikechukwu Ezenwa but his effort was stopped.

The Eagles went close again after a nice build-up, but Okoro shot wide from the edge of the 18-yard box.

On 15 minutes, Aggrey had the chance to pick out team-mates who were free in the 18-yard box, but sent the ball straight to the keeper.

In the 17th minute, Nigeria made an early substitute as a disappointing Jamiu Alimi went off for Kalu Orji.

On 42 minutes Alio Youssouf right-footed strike in front of the Eagles 18-yard box  was easily dealt with by Ezenwa.

Osas Okoro swung in a right wing cross after he was put through but a Nigerien defender was on hand to clear the danger for a corner kick.

Okoro eventually opened the scoring inside 30 seconds of the restart off an assist from Tunde Adeniji.

In the 52nd minute, Niger made two changes, Adje Adebayor went in for Seyni Imarana, whike Issiakou Koudize went off for Moussa Ibrahim.

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The Eagles made their second change following the introduction of Chisom Chikatara for Adeniji on 58 minutes.

Niger brought on Tijani Ganiyu for Salamoun Mahamadou in the 64th minute.

In the 69th minute, the Eagles had a break away, but Aggreh's poor cross was cleared away.

Usman Mohammed was intorduced for Ibenegbu for the Eagles final change.

Chikatara doubled the Eagles lead on 74 minutes after taking the ball on his chest before unleashing a right-foot shot which flew pass Niger keeper.

Adebayor halved the deficit on 80 minutes after he let fly a left-foot strike. But Chikatara restored the Eagles two-goal lead in the 82nd minute.

Chikatara had three good chances to have extended the Eagles lead but squandered them all.

He later made up for his misses by slotting home the fourth goal in the 93rd minute.

The Eagles go top of Group C, and will take on Tunisia on Friday.

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