Monday, January 18, 2016 7:30 pm
Chisom Elvis Chikatara, super sub was the hero of Nigeria’s 4-1 beating of neighbours Niger in Kigali Rwanda today, recording a hat trick in the second half and effectively ensuring that the fighting Nigeriens had no chance of come-back.
The first half in the second match in Group C of the Championship of African Nations (CHAN 2016) had ended goalless, with the two teams exhibiting lack of cohesion, with play on either side marred by poor passes and a series of misfiring even in front of goal.
The second half however turned an entertaining game that would have pleased Isa Hayatou, FIFA acting president and other VIPs who had come to watch.
Nigeria’s Moses Okoro, who plays for Rangers International of Enugu, opened scoring in just a minute after resumption of proceedings, utilising a well taken cross by Babatunde Adeniji.
Adeniji was replaced later by Chikatara of Abia Warriors, who proved he was the super sub being awaited. He made it two goals for Nigeria in the 73rd minute in the match played on the artificial turf of Stade Regional de Nyamirambo in Kigali.
But the Nigerien fought back spiritedly when in the 80th minute Zacharia Adebayor hit a screamer with his left foot just outside the 18 yard box.
The Nigeria keeper did not even see the ball as it rolled into the net.
Chikatara quickly answered back with the third goal for Nigeria in the 81st minute and sealed the fate of the opponents with his hat trick in the 92nd minute of play.
Nigeria will play Tunisia – champions of the 2nd edition of the competition in Sudan five years ago – at the same Stade Regional de Nyamirambo on Friday, 22nd January, before traveling to Gisenyi to play Guinea at the Rubavu Stadium on Tuesday, 26th January.different game, perhaps with the substitutes introduced by the two teams.
For now, Nigeria are the leaders of Group C, with three points.
Tunisia and Guinea who played 2-2 earlier, have a point each. Niger are pointless for now.