Nigeria U23 2-1 Algeria U23: Dream Team VI are African champions

Nigeria will feature at the Rio 2016 Olympics as African champions after defeating Algeria 2-1 in the final of the African U23 championship played at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor on Saturday night.

Etebo Oghenekaro, the competition’s top scorer repeated his fluency and brilliance in front of goal as he scored the goals that handed the Dream Team VI their first Africa U23 diadem.

The dogged north Africans got a life line as Segun Oduduwa nodded home Zinedine Ferhat’s cross but the Nigerians stayed stanch  with goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel saving Ferhat’s penalty in the second half.

It was the first time Nigeria had conceded in the first half of the competition but it came to a bitter pill to swallow for Pierre Andre Schurmann’s team who failed to convert their chances in both halves.

Victor Osimhen passed up a glorious chance in the first minute of the game and the 16-year-old also had couples of chances thrown away.

Nigeria will feature at the Rio 2016 Olympics as African champions after defeating Algeria 2-1 in the final of the African U23 championship played at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor on Saturday night.

Etebo Oghenekaro, the competition’s top scorer repeated his fluency and brilliance in front of goal as he scored the goals that handed the Dream Team VI their first Africa U23 diadem.

The dogged north Africans got a life line as Segun Oduduwa nodded home Zinedine Ferhat’s cross but the Nigerians stayed stanch  with goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel saving Ferhat’s penalty in the second half.

It was the first time Nigeria had conceded in the first half of the competition but it came to a bitter pill to swallow for Pierre Andre Schurmann’s team who failed to convert their chances in both halves.

Victor Osimhen passed up a glorious chance in the first minute of the game and the 16-year-old also had couples of chances thrown away. Emmanuel’s opposite number, Abdelkadir ergio Romero, denied Schurrle inside the first minute of extra time, while fellow substitute Rodrigo Palacio fluffed his lines at the other end before Gotze sealed Germany’s fourth World Cup triumph.

Emmanuel’s opposite number, Abdelkadir Salhi , denied Junior Ajayi few minutes later, while Oussama Chita fluffed his lines at the other end before the Dream Team VI dictated proceeding from the midfield.

Ayoub Abdellaoui conceded a penalty after forcing down Etebo who raced through his markers to the goal area of the Algerians. The Warri Wolves stepped up, oozed with confidence, then sent Salhi the wrong way for his side’s opener.

Les Fennecs’ quest for the equaliser yielded dividends on the hour mark when hard-pressedOduduwa headed home a cross from the right by Ferhat into his own net.

Five minutes to the half time break, Etebo restored Nigeria’s lead with a fine finish to after making a mess of the opponent’s backline with his terrific speed.

Etebo drilled a second half free-kick into the defensive wall, prompting an Algeria break on which Chita shot across the face of goal.

Ajayi was then muscled away from Azubuike Okeckukwu’s 68th-minute cross as Siasia’s men settled into an ominous rhythm, although Ryad Keniche’s shuddering shoulder charge into Muhammed Usman’s face that ultimately slowed down the Taraba FC midfielder’s fairytale performance.

Ben Tarham drew a sharp save from Daniel, while Ferhat forced Sincere Seth  to hack his cross-shot out of the goalmouth after racing down the right.

Mohammed Benkhemassa – somewhat fortunate to have only been booked for a reckless lunge on Osimhen – then bumped his side’s stoppage-time corner over the bar as Nigeria sealed their first U23 Championship triumph.