Slim Advantage: Nigeria’s Under-23 Beat Congo 2-1 In Olympics Qualifier, Pockets Governor Wike’s $60,000
Nigeria’s Under-23 national team have beaten their Congolese counterparts 2-1 in an African Under-23 Championship final round, first leg qualifying match played in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
Junior Ajayi scored both goals early in the second half – the first a tap-in after Goalkeeper Christopher could not get a good grip of the ball off a pull-out in the 48th minute.
The second goal was a well orchestrated team goal that Ajayi finished with a brilliant header from a Daniel Etor cross six minutes later.
After the 2-goal lead, Samson Siasia’s boys were adjudged to have relaxed and allowed the Congolese back into the game.
The Devils created chances and from one of such, Nkoukou Miose slammed in off a rebound from goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel in the 66th minute.
Coach Siasia had, during a telephone interview on Channels Television’s Sports Tonight, hoped for victory with a large margin against the boys from Congo but they now take a slim advantage into the second leg in Congo.
Even though the 2-1 result realized in today’s match does not induce much confidence in their abilities, the team will still be able to draw on the governor’s $60,000 cash reward, having scored two goals against the visitors.
By virtue of today’s unconvincing result, the Dream Team VI is expected to face a difficult challenge against their Congolese opponents during the second match in two weeks in Brazzaville.
Siasia’s boys won their two away matches in the qualifying race for the All-Africa Games – for which they have qualified.
They pounded Gabon 4-1 in Libreville and defeated Zambia 2-0 in Lusaka and it is expected that they would remain confident going to Pointe Noire on August 2.