NIGERIA edged out Libya 1-0 in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) Group C match at the Stade Ibn Batouta in Tangier, Morocco on Friday.
The victory takes the Super Eagles to the top of the group standings, while the Mediterranean Knights slip down to second spot.
The Super Eagles threatened first just three minutes into the game when a long throw into Libya’s box found Stephen Eze, who flicked it, but Anthony Okpotu failed to get a touch to tap it in.
Osas Okoro then played a dangerous curling cross into the Libya box in the 21st minute and Masaud Sand made a crucial clearance as Nigeria continued to press the Mediterranean Knights.
Libya were awarded a free-kick in a promising area on the half-hour mark and Mohamed Aleyat stepped up, and forced Nigeria goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa into a comfortable save.
Nigeria were finding it difficult to penetrate the Libya defence which was marshalled by Ahmed El Trbi, who put his body on the line in the 40th minute – blocking Stephen Eze’s thunderous long-range shot.
The score was 0-0 at half-time Libya and Nigeria following a tightly contested first-half with both teams looking very organized at the back.
Nigeria did most of the attacking in the early stages of the second-half and they nearly broke the deadlock in the 55th minute when Emeka Ogbugh forced Libya keeper Muhammad Nashnoush into a good save with a header after some good work by Sunday Faleye.
Abdulsalam Omar, Libya’s second-half substitute, tried to make an immediate impact after being introduced on the hour-mark, but his long range shot narrowly missed the target.
Faleye, who was looking lively for the Super Eagles, cut inside from the left hand side and he unleashed a long range effort which missed the target without troubling Nashnoush in the Libya goal in the 77th minute.
However, Faleye did break the deadlock two minutes later when he fired home Emeka Atuloma’s corner-kick to make it 1-0 to Nigeria with the Libya defence caught ball watching in their own box.
The momentum was with the Super Eagles in the closing stages of the game, but they could not double their lead and ultimately, Nigeria emerged 1-0 winners over Libya. –Supersports
– Jan. 19 2018 @ 19:50 GMT