Nigeria’s under-23 hope of qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games have been dashed after the team’s goalless draw against South Africa in their last group B game at the 2019 African U23 Championship on Friday.
The team approached the game by attacking their South African counterpart from the blast of the referee whistle as Taiwo Awoniyi forced South African goalkeeper, Darren Johnson, to an early save.
Nigeria dictated the pace of the game with some possessional football but the team could not breakdown the stubborn defence of the South Africans.
Kelechi Nwakali and Ibrahim Sanusi could have broken the deadlock in the 36th and 44th minutes, however, their low strikes failed to threaten the South African goalkeeper.
South Africa could have taken a shock lead in the 67th minute as Lyle Foster long volley was parried away by Nigerian goalkeeper, Adamu Abubakar.
Both teams made every effort to score but all proved abortive as Nigeria’s Dream Team failed to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games after Cote d’Ivoire defeated Zambia 1-0 to top the group with six points.