Nigeria’s hopes of qualifying for next year’s Olympics in Paris have suffered a massive blow after the Olympics Eagles were held to a scoreless draw by visiting Guinea in a playoff first leg today in Abuja.
It was a disappointing performance by the team coached by Salisu Yusuf and a poor result in front of the home fans.
Such was the shambolic display of the home team that they ought to be a lot happier with the draw than their visitors, who created the better clear-cut chances only to be let down by poor finishing.
The woes of the home team were compounded in the closing minutes when central defender Chris Nwaeze, who was one of the outstanding players for Nigeria, was sent off after a second booking.
His absence in the return leg in Morocco could seriously be felt by the U23s.
The overall winners of these playoffs will advance to the U23 AFCON to be hosted by Morocco later this year with the top teams going on to feature in the football event of the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Nigeria made history at the 1996 Olympics when they became the first African team to win Gold, they then won silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, before they bagged a bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Nigeria U23s vs Guinea – Nurudeen Badmus – Simon Omon, Benjamin Tanimu, Ibrahim Buhari, Chris Nwaeze – Bello Babatunde, Akanni Qudus, Azeez Yusuf, – Success Makanjuola (Captain), Ifeanyi Ogba, Abiodun Oguniyi ‘Omo Jesu’