In the struggle to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics,Nigeria’s Olympic team, the U-23 Eagles,defeated their Tanzanian counterpart, the Junior Taifa 2-0.
This brought the total aggregate score up to 3-1 in both the home and away match. The victory saw the U-23 eagles progress to the next round of the continental qualification ahead of the Olympics.
The Olympic Eagles had played a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the clash at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dares Salaam, Tanzania, and then came home to seal the qualification in the reverse fixture played at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday.
Nigeria will now move on to meet the winner between Uganda and Guinea in order to secure a spot in the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations held in Morocco. The tourney in Morocco would determine who would qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games football event.
Tanzania’s Junior Taifa had battled fiercely in the first half to prevent any goals from entering their post from the home team.
On resumption of the second half, the Nigerian side kept mounting pressure on the defence of the Tanzanians until Ogunniyi broke the deadlock, scoring the opener by blasting a shot past the Tanzania goalkeeper, Aboutwaleeb Mshery, to put the host in the lead.
The second goal was an own goal by Goalkeeper Mshery, after Success Makanjuola’s spotkick had hit his back in the 80th minute when the team captain was awarded a penalty against the goalkeeper who had brought down Ogunnubi in his 18-yard box.
It is to be recalled that Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State had given the U-23 Eagles the sum of N10 million as a morale booster and also made another promise to the team of $25,000 should the team claim the three maximum points against the Tanzanians which they did.
This is in addition to the sum of N500,000 promised the team for every goal in yesterday’s game, among other pledges, by the Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation Task Force on Youth Competitions, Alhaji Aminu Balele Kurfi.