• Babajide EverBlazin

U23AFCONQ: Nigeria advances to final round after defeating Tanzania

Nigeria's U23 Eagles have qualified for the final round of the U23 AFCON after defeating their Tanzanian counterpart at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan on Saturday.

After settling for a draw during last week's encounter in Dar es Salaam, the Eagles began today's match like a house on fire, keeping possession nicely with the likes of Daniel Wotlai and Ogunniyi Omojesu getting involved.

However, it was Tanzania who first came close to netting, leaving Nigeria's goalkeeper Nathaniel Nwosu to make two big saves to deny the visitors from going in front.

Despite the chances created before the end of the first half, none of the sides was able to produce any goal as the game remained evenly balanced.

The hosts came out fighting more and creating chances in the second half and were very close to breaking the deadlock as Ibrahim Sunusi’s attempted overhead kick went into the side netting before Tanzania almost got the opener at the other end.

Just minutes after the hour mark, Nigeria opened the scoring via a free-kick from Ogunniyi Omojesu. The former Sunshine Stars man’s free kick took a devilish bounce in front of goalkeeper Aboutwaleeb Mshery into the goal.

The goal opened the game further and Nigeria duly got a well-deserved second goal less than ten minutes later. The sensational Omojesu was brought down in box after a mesmerising run.

Skipper Makanjuola stepped up to take it – he was lucky to see his effort come off the upright and go in off the goalkeeper.

Salisu Yusuf’s side march into the final qualifying round with a 3-1 aggregate win and will be facing Guinea in March. The winner of the tie will qualify for the U23 AFCON in Algeria next year.

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