17 August 2016
Nigeria’s U-23, the Dream Team, on Wednesday failed to progress to the final of the men’s soccer Olympic tournament as they lost 0-2 to Germany at the Corinthians Arena.
Lukas Klostermann got an early goal just as substitute Nils Petersen added another in the closing minutes of the second half as Germany defeated Nigeria.
The first five minutes were a very lively affair as both sides attempted an early goal. However, it was the Germans who utilised their very first chance at goal.
Serge Gnabry slipped a clever first-time pass into the path of German’s captain Max Meyer who squared for Klostermann to tap home at the back post after only nine minutes into the game.
Nigeria was presented with an opportunity of theirs a minute later, but Sadiq Umar missed a glorious chance to restore parity after the German goalkeeper committed a blunder.
Nigeria enjoyed a foray forward into Germany’s half and Mikel Obi found space in the box and lashed a shot towards goal but the captain was quickly closed down by the German defence.
Germany dominated the game, but Nigeria created a few chances in the final 10 minutes to give their opponents something to think about at the break.
Nigeria began the second half brightly, with Imoh Ezekiel causing problems through some direct running at the German defence, but the Germans were resolute at the defence.
However, it was German substitute Petersen who turned a team-mate’s shot into a cross to score at the back post and ended the Dream Team’s hope of a final berth with Brazil.
Brazil which earlier routed Honduras 6-0 in the other semi-final encounter will play Germany in Saturday’s final.
Nigeria will now slug it out with Honduras for a shot at the Bronze medal.