Nigeria’s Under 23 national team, Dream Team VI beat their Congo Brazzaville counterparts 2-1 in a crucial Olympic qualifier first leg match played at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt on Sunday.

A quick second half brace from Shooting Stars Sports Club striker, Junior Ajayi gave the Samson Siasia-led side a comfortable lead before Nkounkou Moise pulled one back for the Congolese side.

The Dream Team Eagles faces a tough battle against Claude Le Roy-led side that knocked out Ghana in a second leg tie in Pointe Noire in a fortnight. Siasia who predicted a 4-0 victory for the Eagles prior to the game, however, rued his players’ wastefulness.

“We missed lots of chances in the 2-1 victory against the Congolese under-23 opposite. We could have scored more than four unanswered goals in the encounter to actually make the reverse fixture a bit easier,” he lamented.

The coach, however, assured that the team’s poor conversion of chances will be addressed before the battle of   Pointe Noire. “We will certainly work on the mistakes especially the finishing before the second leg clash in Brazzaville. I have quality players that can survive the onslaught in the reverse fixture in Congo,” he declared.

Siasia did not reveal whether he would draft some of his foreign-based players like Musa Mohammed, Kelechi Iheanacho, Imoh Ezekiel and Moses Simon to fortify his team in the second leg.

The aggregate winner of the two-legged encounter will qualify for the eight-nation CAF Under-23 Olympic Championship in Senegal where the top three teams will pick up automatic slots for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The fourth-placed side will engage in a tedious playoff to decide its fate. Nigeria did not qualify for the men’s football event of the London 2012 Games.

By Olisemeka Obeche


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