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U-23 AFCON Qualifiers: Tanzania force Nigeria to 1-1 draw at Dar-es-Salam

U-23 AFCON Qualifiers: Tanzania force Nigeria to 1-1 draw at Dar-es-Salam



Two penalties, one in each half and at opposing sides, guaranteed that Saturday’s Africa U23 Cup of Nations qualifying match between Nigeria and Tanzania in Dar es Salaam ended in a 1-1 draw.

Captain Success Makanjuola netted for Nigeria in the 29th minute, after Qudus Akanni was fouled in the hosts’ vital area, and the 1996 champions thereafter created a number of chances that with a little more precision, would have put the match to bed by half time.

The home team piled on the pressure in the second period at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, and hit the crossbar on two occasions before Djiboutian referee Souleiman Ahmed Djama awarded them a penalty that was brilliantly converted in the 74th minute.

The Olympic Eagles fought tenaciously to earn a winner, with their minds on the $20,000 pledge for victory by the Chairman of NFF’s task force for youth competitions, Alhaji Aminu Balele Kurfi, but it was not to be.

However, the boys return to the country on Sunday with their heads held high and determined to finish off the task with success when they host the Tanzanians at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan on Saturday next week.

The winner on aggregate will proceed to the next round of the Africa U23 Cup of Nations qualifying campaign. The Africa U23 Cup of Nations to be held in Morocco in November 2023, will determine Africa’s flag bearers at the Men’s Football Tournament of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris

Speaking after the game, Coach Salisu Yusuf bemoaned chances lost by his boys, saying they could have won the game.

“It’s an hard game. They’re already in match situation and we are not in match situation. We could have won the game but we didn’t take two chances. We thank God for the draw.

“The plan is to win them and move to the next round by the grace of God. We will continue to work with the group and as you can see, they have improved. They’re improving as a team and I think they will play better in Nigeria”

The Dream Team will host Tanzania next weekend at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba in Ibadan where they hope to pick the needed win enough to see them qualify for the main tournament next year

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