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U23 AFCON playoff: Nigeria fail to beat Guinea in Abuja

U23 AFCON playoff: Nigeria fail to beat Guinea in Abuja
March 22
19:50 2023

The Olympic Eagles of Nigeria failed to beat the defence of Guinea in a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the U23 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification match.

The Salisu Yusuf-led team was lacklustre in a drab match that was played at the Moshood Abiola stadium, Abuja, on Wednesday.

The Nigerians failed to make the home advantage count as they struggled to cultivate the fluidity and edge necessary to defeat the Guineans.

The away team looked rather more composed and could have struck Nigeria in the 20th minute, but defender Chris Nwaeze threw his body between the ball and the net to save the team’s blushes.


Eight minutes later, the Eagles managed their only big goal opportunity of the game when a freekick from Ogunniyi Timilehin rattled the crossbar.

The Guineans firmly controlled the match from there on, forcing two reflexive saves from Badmus Nurudeen, Nigeria’s goalkeeper, immediately after the second half began.

Deep into stoppage time, the game went from average to worrisome for the Eagles after Nwaeze was sent off for a tactical foul to halt a late Guinean counterattack.


The game finished goalless. The second leg of the encounter will be played in Morocco on Tuesday — since Guinea has no venue approved in the country for international matches.

The playoff will decide who qualifies for the U-23 AFCON billed for Morocco from June 24 to July 8.

The top three teams from the U-23 AFCON will qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic men’s football tournament.


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