Odion Ighalo hit his first hat-trick for Nigeria as the Super Eagles defeated Libya 4-0 on Saturday in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
The result moves Nigeria up to second in Group E – a point behind leaders South Africa who were emphatic 6-0 winners over Seychelles in Johannesburg, a record winning margin for Bafana Bafana.
In other results on Saturday, Namibia were 2-1 winners in Mozambique and Madagascar won 1-0 away to Equatorial Guinea.
Nigeria, who failed to qualify for the last two Nations Cups in 2015 and 2017, boosted their hopes of reaching Cameroon 2019 with a convincing win over previous Group E leaders Libya in Uyo.
Former Watford star Ighalo, now at Chinese side Changchun Yatai, set the Super Eagles on their way with a penalty in the fourth minute.
The 29-year-old struck again in the second half with a goal after 58 minutes and completed his hat-trick with 20 minutes remaining.
Samuel Kalu made it 4-0 for the hosts with a 90th minute strike.
Libya’s preparations had been hampered after the sudden departure of their coach Adel Amrouche just days before the qualifier.