Njgeria beat Congo 2-1 in 2016 Rio Oylmpics qualifier, face a testy second leg

By The Rainbow

Nigeria on Sunday Congo Brazzaville 2-1  in  2016 Rio Olympics qualification match played at Adokie Amasiemeka Stadium in Port Harcourt.

The result is not too good for Nigeria which have to make sure that Congo does not score an u replied goal in the coming return encounter in Congo or in the alternative out score them in their own soli.

The second leg comes up in Pointe-Noire in a fortnight.

Nigeria played a very impressive football but fluffed many chances.

On Sunday, it was Junior Ajayi who proved to be Siasia’s match winner, scoring both goals just after half-time, in front of 35,000 home fans.

After a scoreless first half completely dominated by home team Nigeria, Junior Ajayi finally opened scoring in the 48th minute after Congo goalkeeper Christoffer Mafoumbi failed to hold on to an acute-angled shot by Godwin Saviour.

Shooting Stars striker Ajayi completed his brace in the 54thminute, when he headed home a low cross from the left by Etor Daniel.

But just when Dream Team VI were cruising to a comfortable home win, Congo pulled a goal back through Moise Nkonkou in the 66th minute.

A penalty appeal by Nigeria in the 59th minute was overlooked by the Kenyan referee, but television replays later showed it should have been given as Etebo Oghenekaro's shot was handled by a Congo defender inside the box.

Nigeria made three changes thereafter with Musa Yahaya, Taiwo Awoniyi and Umar Aminu coming in as they went in search of more goals.

Awoniyi failed to connect a low drive across the Congo goal in the 75th minute.

Oghenekaro was then denied in stoppage time by the Congo goalkeeper.

Congo were the happier of the two teams going into the dressing room after scores stood at 0-0 at a packed Adokie Amiesimeika Stadium in Port Harcourt.

Samson Siasia's Dream Team VI attacked all of the first 45 minutes and visiting Congo were happy to sit back and defend with their lives.

Nigeria enjoyed 67 percent of the possession and forced 11 corners, but they still could not manage to translate the final ball into goal.

Saviour shot at goal after just six minutes, but it screamed across the Congo goal.

In the 12th minute, Junior Ajayi could have put the home team in front but he scooped away from target from inside the box after he was superbly set up by Oghenekaro.

Skipper Azubuike Okechukwu's shot from the top of the box after 22 minutes was also off target.

In the 31st minute, Segun Oduduwa shot from a free kick was put out for a corner by the Congo goalkeeper Mafoumbi.

Three minutes later, Saviour goal-bound shot was headed off the goal line as Congo continued to hang on.

And in stoppage time, Saviour again forced a double save from the Congo shot stopper.

Nigeria boast a proud Olympics football record, having won gold medals at the Atlanta Games in 1996.

They also finished runners-up at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where current Nigeria under-23 coach Samson Siasia also coached the ‘Dream Team’ in China.

Le Roy’s Congo pulled one back in the 68th minute – but Nigeria held on to seize the first leg advantage in the under-23 level third-round qualifier.

The return match is scheduled for early August and the overall winners qualify for an end-of-year tournament in Senegal from which the top three teams out of eight go to Rio.

Elsewhere, a late goal blitz helped Egypt overwhelm Uganda 4-0

Uganda coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic

The Baby Pharaohs led after eight minutes in Alexandria and added three more goals in the last 15 minutes to build a huge first-leg lead.

Mahmoud ‘Kahraba’ Abdel Moneim – bagged a brace and Mohamed Salim and Ramadan Sobhy were also on target.

Egyptian TV commentators angered Uganda coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic (pictured) before the match by labelling his team a “punching bag”.

It looked as though Micho might have the last laugh as the east Africans recovered from falling behind to a Salim goal and even came close to levelling soon after half-time.

Uganda captain and leading scorer Farouk Miya found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Mosaad Awad, but failed to score.

Egypt coach Hossam El-Badry turned the tide back in favour of a country that has played at Olympics football tournaments 11 times by introducing midfielder Ahmed Rafaat midway through the second half.

Rafaat set up goals for ‘Kahraba’ and Sobhy as the Ugandans wilted under relentless pressure.

‘Kahraba’ completed the rout in stoppage time by rounding goalkeeper Omar Salim and stroking the ball over the line.

Adama Niane became the leading scorer in the African qualifying competition, taking his total to four goals by snatching the winner as Mali defeated Gabon 1-0 in Libreville.

Niane, who is with French club Nantes, scored 13 minutes from time.

Gabon were shock winners of a pre-London Olympics tournament in Morocco four years ago having eliminated Mali en route.

Zambia forced a 0-0 draw with Ivory Coast in Abidjan despite having to play much of the second half with 10 men.

Defender Boyd Mkandawire was sent off on 62 minutes after being shown a second yellow card, but the Ivorians failed to take advantage of their extra man.

South Africa, whose previous Olympics appearance was in Sydney 15 years ago, drew 1-1 with neighbours Zimbabwe at the Rufaro Stadium in Harare on Sunday.

Keagan Dolly put South Africa ahead in the 67th minute before hosts Zimbabwe were awarded a penalty seven minutes from time, with Walter Musona successfully converting.

Olympic qualifiers are restricted to footballers born on or after January 1 1993, with three over-age stars permitted at the August 3-20 2016 finals in Brazil.

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