Libya ease past Equatorial Guinea at CHAN

Libya celebrate, CHAN 2018 Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Libya served a stern warning to their African Nations Championship Group C opponents as two first-half goals from Saleh Taher Saeid and a late strike from Zakaria Alharash saw them ease past Equatorial Guinea in Tanger on Monday.

The 2014 CHAN champions delivered one of the most impressive performances of the tournament so far to assert their title credentials and swat away an Equatoguinean side that was short of quality.

Outstanding Al Ahly Tripoli duo Salem Ablo and Mohamed Abrahim Aleyat set the tone in the early stages with some exceptional interplay, as the Central African side's defenders appeared unable to cope with the pace and intensity of their opponents.

However, it was the Nzalang Nacional who appeared to have the first clear chances of the game when Pedro Oba Asu's shot was saved by Mohamed Nashnush after being put through, only for the referee to flag for offside.

Saeid opened the scoring in the 12th minute when he touched home after meeting a delicious cross from Aleyat, one of several excellent Libyan performers.

The Tripoli hitman then added his second five minutes later when, again profiting from excellent work out wide by his club teammate, he finished from close range.

It was a sucker punch from which Equatorial Guinea never looked like recovering, as they largely struggled to cope with Libya's physical game to reassert themselves in the contest.

The Mediterranean Warriors, confident that their opponents wouldn't find a way through their organised defensive unit, rarely displayed the adventure of the first period after the break, although substitute Alharash tapped home a third in the 86th minute as the tiring Equatoguineans were exposed down their right flank by the irrepressible Aleyat.

Libya will now look forward to Friday's heavyweight clash with the Super Eagles, while Equatorial Guinea face Rwanda.