By James Agberebi: The home-based Super Eagles secured their first win of the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) following their slim 1-0 victory against Libya in Group C on Friday in Tangier.
Shooting Stars forward Sunday Faleye was the hero for the Eagles with his second half goal
The win means the Eagles are now top of Group C on four points, while Libya are temporarily second on three points.
Anthony Okpotu had Nigeria’s first attempt on goal in the third minute but failed to tap in Stephen Eze’s flick at the far post from a long throw.
In the fifth minute, Eze made a timely clearance as he poked the ball off the feet of a Libyan player away for a corner who was goal bound.
The Eagles’ went on the attack in the 20th minute following a break on the right flank only for Osas Okoro’s dangerous cross to be blocked for a corner.
In the 26th minute, the Eagles broke again but Emeka Ogbugh’s low cross evaded Okpotu.
Libya were awarded a free-kick not too far away from the Nigerian area on 30 minutes following a foul by Eze but Mohamed Aleyat’s effort was well saved by Ikechukwu Ezenwa.
The Eagles almost took the lead in the 55th minute through Ogbugh but his header from Sunday Faleye’s cross was well saved by the Libya keeper.
Libya had a chance of their own in the 65th minute only for the effort to narrowly miss the target.
With 15 minutes remaining Ifeanyi Ifeanyi went off injured and was replaced by Dayo Ojo.
The Eagles eventually took the lead in the 79th minute thanks to Faleye who slammed the ball past the Libyan keeper from close range off Emeka Atuloma’s flick from Okoro’s corner.
In the 82nd minute, the Eagles should have doubled the their lead off a breakaway but substitute Mustapha Ibrahim’s intended pass to Faleye was cleared away for a corner.
Rabiu Ali had a chance to extend the Home Eagles’ lead in added time only to slice his shot from the edge of the Libyan box wide.
The Eagles’ last group game is against Equatorial Guinea on Tuesday, 23 in Agadir while Libya will do battle with Rwanda also on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Rwanda and Equatorial Guinea will square off against each other later on Friday.