The Olympic Eagles on Wednesday in Abuja drew goalless with the Guinean under-23 male football team in the 2023 Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
In the final qualifying round first leg match at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, the Nigerian team were unimpressive and looked not up to expected standard.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there was nothing to cheer in the Olympic Eagles’ play as the Guineans dominated the first half with a confident play.
With the Guineans playing with more cohesion and holding possession, they stifled the Nigerian team’s midfield and the attacking duo of Success Makanjuola and Timilehin Ogunniyi could not deliver.
Ogunniyi did scare the Guineans in the 28th minute when his free-kick skimmed the crossbar from about 25 yards out on the right.
Also, Makanjuola’s in-swinger in the 45th minute was parried from danger by goalkeeper Mory Keita.
These were the major efforts of the Olympic Eagles in a drab game that did not quite live up to its billing.
The second half saw the Guineans, who lacked the bite upfront earlier, coming quite close when Ousmane Camara hit the upright from a corner-kick.
Ifeanyi Ogba blasted a couple of opportunities wide, while Jonathan Alukwu watched in agony as Keita punched away his shot when Nigeria surged forward in the 64thminute.
With the Nigerian side huffing and puffing with no result, the Guinean side continued to hold possession and seek the goal that would kill off the fixture.
And, with frustration growing for the Nigerian side, defender Christopher Nwaeze was sent off for a second bookable offence, and will miss the return leg in Rabat on Tuesday.