Nigeria’s Under23 side, the Dream Team V1 have qualified for the football event of the All Africa Games to be held in Congo-Brazzaville in September this year beating Zambia 2-1 at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
The Samson Siasia tutored side drew 0-0 with Zambia in the first leg in Abuja a fortnight ago and knew nothing but a win or a score draw will do them any good.
Five members of the victorious Flying Eagles at the Africa Youth Championship in Senegal in February were drafted in to beef the squad and one of the new invitees turned out to be the hero for Nigeria.
Taiwo Awoniyi’s brace in the 34th and 86th minute ensured Nigeria’s passage to Africa’s Premier sporting fiesta.
Zambia put Nigeria under pressure right from the blast of the whistle as they looked to rattle the Nigerians early in the game. Goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel was immense for Nigeria as he kept out everything thrown at him by the Zambians.
John Chingu hit the wood work in the 23rd minute as Ronald Kapamba was also a constant menace upfront for the Zambians.
Godwin Saviour had a good opportunity to create something for Nigeria but he couldn't make hay.
The tie turned on it’s head when Awoniyi beat his marker to score in the 34th minute as Nigeria went into the break a goal ahead.
Zambia equalised in the 76th minutes through Friday Samu after sustained pressure by the Zambian attack before Awoniyi put the icing on the cake with Nigeria’s second goal in the 86th minute which effectively killed off the tie as a contest.
Nigeria starting X1
Emmanuel Daniel, Erhun Obanor, Segun Oduduwa, Stanley Amuzie, Atanda Sodiq, Kingsley Sokari, Okechukwu Azubuike, Taiwo Awoniyi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Bernard Bulbwa, Godwin Savior