Paris 2024: Olympic Eagles beat Tanzania 2-0, reach final round of qualifiers

Nigeria reached the final round of the 2023 Africa U23 Cup of Nations on Saturday after Timilehin Ogunniyi and Success Makanjuola scored in the second leg at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan.

The win condemned visitors Tanzania to a two-goal defeat and 1-3 loss on aggregate.

Success Makanjuola, Akanni Qudus, Timilehin Ogunniyi, Sunusi Ibrahim and the attack-minded defender Dominion Ohaka hassled and harassed the visitors’ rearguard to no end, but without finding the early breakthrough they so much desired.

However, Tanzania played a compact and economic game, and could have gone ahead as early as the 12th minute when Mundhir Abadalla unleashed from the edge of the box as Daniel Wotlai mis-judged ball in flight. Nigeria’s first choice Nathaniel Nwosu was up to the task.

Three minutes later, Ohaka’s shot was too high from 20 yards, and Ogunniyi’s efforts screamed way off mark in the 18th minute as Nigeria applied pressure.

Nwosu again came up big in the 28th minute to thwart Muhajiri Jaribi who let fly from just outside the left side of the box.

In the second period, Sunusi Ibrahim side-netted from a scissors kick and Ohaka’s thrust went away as Nigeria kept their feet on the pedal, but they could have been shocked in the 52nd minute when a defensive error allowed Edmund Godreu John sight of goal only for him to pull the ball too high.

Nigeria continued to knock on the door and it finally opened in the 62nd minute, when Ogunniyi slammed into the net from a free-kick 23 yards out.

Eight minutes later, the Olympic Eagles were two goals up when the irrepressible Ogunniyi was hacked in the box, and Makanjuola found the penalty from the spot.

Governor Makinde, Alhaji Balele and Hon. Bukola Olopade all fulfilled their pre-match pledges of $25,000, $20,000 and $5,000 respectively.

The Olympic Eagles will play the winner of the fixture between Uganda and Guinea in the final round of the qualifiers in March 2023.

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