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Rio 2016: Dream Team Advance, Falcons Out

Nigeria’s Under-23 squad – the Dream Team – did the seemingly impossible yesterday by getting a favourable result against hosts Congo, which catapulted the Nigerians to the next phase of African qualifiers for football competition of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The Dream Team, who took a slim 2-1 lead from the first leg played in Port Harcourt, held their hosts Congo to a goalless draw in yesterday’s second leg played in Pointe Noire.

Dream Team coach, Samson Siasia, reportedly made only one change to the team who started the first leg at home, with right-back, Sincere Seth, replacing Atanda Sodiq who stood in for him in Port Harcourt.

Both sides had a cautious apOxladeproach to the game but made daring attempts at goal, which failed to yield desired results especially for the Congolese who needed just a goal to eliminate the Nigerians.

It was however a different ball game for the Nigeria senior women’s side, the Super Falcons, who took a one goal lead in Bata but eventually succumbed 1-2 to Equatorial Guinea in the second leg of their second round match.

In yesterday’s game played in Bata, Super Falcons’ forward, Ngozi Okobi, put the African champions in front but the home side made a forceful comeback leveling scores to drag proceedings into extra time and eventually won 2-1.

The Equatorial Guineans thus qualified 3-2 on aggregate having drawn the first leg game 1-1 in Abuja.

-Oladipo Okubanjo

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