NIGERIA stepped up her preparations for this summer’s forthcoming Olympic Games yesterday with a morale-boosting 1-0 victory over Brazil’s U23 side in Espirito Santo thanks to a first half goal from striker Ekpai Ubong.
In the highly exciting game played at the Estádio Kléber Andrade in Cariacica, Ubong struck in the third minute of the match and the Eagles managed to hold on for the win despite consistent Brazilian pressure. Dubbed a repeat of the Atlanta 1996 semi final where Nigeria broke Brazilian hearts in a 4-3 thrilling encounter, the U23 team dubbed Dream Team VI were quick off the blocks, with Akwa United Ubong heading home a rebound after the Selecao failed to properly clear their lines.
However, Brazil’s Rogerio Micale-led side fought back, with Gabigol, Alisson and Felipe Anderson coming close on several occasions but were denied by a combination of nervous finishing and the superb form of Emmanuel Daniel in goal for Nigeria. Coached by Fatai Amoo, who was only drafted in last month after Samson Siasia was put in charge of the senor team for today’s game against Egypt, the Eagles fought gallantly ion the night, creating several chances of their own.
With coach Micale’s introduction of Clayton, Doria, Luciano and Malcom , the Dream Team VI backline was placed under constant check but the hosts failed to convert numerous begging chances. A second-half flurry of substitutions from the Brazilians increased the pressure on the Eagles but they somehow managed to keep a clean sheet and held out until the final whistle.
Match highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&;v=PxH9MetvT_I