No 2024 Olympics For Nigeria Under-23 Team Thanks To Guinea
Nigeria’s Under-23 team has missed the chance to fight for a ticket to the 2024 summer Olympics as they suffered a stunning 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Guinea U-23 team on Tuesday night, March 28.
The Nigeria Under-23 team and their counterparts from Guinea met at the Moulay El Hassan stadium, Rabat, the capital of Morocco this evening for the second leg of the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers but failed to do much despite knowing what was at stake.
Naija News recalls that the Guinea U-23 team visited Nigeria for the first leg of the qualifiers on March 22. Unfortunately, the game which was played at the MKO Abiola national stadium in Abuja ended in a 0-0 draw.
This means that the pressure was on Nigeria to deliver in the second leg which fortunately took place on neutral ground.
After a caging first half which ended 0-0, the two teams made efforts to play more attacking-minded football in the second half.
Nigeria’s game plan backfired after the one-hour mark as Algassime Bah opened the scoring for Guinea in the 62nd minute when Nigeria gave unnecessary spaces in their defense.
Even though Guinea took the lead, they continued to pressure Nigeria’s defense and they got a free kick in an advantageous position.
Alseny Soumah stepped up for it and converted the direct free kick into a goal to double the lead for the Guineans in the 75th minute.
After an embarrassing 90 minutes of football, coach Salisu Yusuf and his boys ended their dreams of representing Nigeria in the 2024 Olympic Games thanks to a 2-0 aggregate defeat to lowly-rated Guinea.
Note that with the 2-0 win, Guinea will join other qualified teams at the U-23 AFCON which will be held in Morocco between 24 June and 8 July 2023. The teams that finish in the top three will automatically qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics. While the team that finishes 4th will play in the AFC–CAF playoffs to decide the final slot at the Olympics.