Nigeria got off to a blistering start at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) with a 4-1 demolition of Niger Republic at the Stade Régional Nyamirambo in Kigali, on Monday evening.
A hat-trick from Chisom Chikatara and a fine finish from Osas Okoro fired Sunday Oliseh’s side to the top of Group C.
After a much contested first half with both teams being poor at the front, Osas Okoro put the Eagles in front just 30 seconds into the second half, with a beautiful volley from close range.
Scorer turned supplier in the 75th minute as Okoro pulled a delightful cross to substitute Chisom Chikatara, who calmly chested down the ball before firing a thunderous strike into the top right corner.
Niger pulled one back in the 81st minute through substitute Adebayo with arguably the goal of the game to give the Menas a lifeline, but Chikatara doubled the Eagles lead one minute later as he tapped home a well-placed pass again from Osas Okoro to the delight of the Nigerian bench.
Chikatara almost added a third in the 84th minute but he flashed his effort well wide after a nice piece of play to beat his marker.
But the Abia Warriors man completed his hat-trick in the 92nd minute with a cool finish from close range, as he was awarded the man of the match.
Sunday Oliseh’s side now tops Group C ahead of Tunisia and Guinea who played to a 1-1 draw earlier on in the day.
The Super Eagles will be looking to win the tournament as one of the favourites after a third place finish in 2014.