Cup holders, the Olympic Eagles of Nigeria, were knocked out of the 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations following a 0-0 draw with South Africa at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo on Friday night, reports Completesports.com.
The Olympic Eagles finished in third position in Group B with four points from three matches. The team failure at the 2019 AFCON also means they won’t feature at the men’s football event of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Cote d’l voire who defeated Zambia 1-0 in the other Group B game top the standings with six points, while South Africa finished second with five points.
Nigeria started the game brightly and carved out the first real chance in the 15th minute with Darren Johnson producing a fine save to deny Ndifreke Effiong.
Seven minutes later Ibrahim Sunusi missed another opportunity from close range.
South Africa’s first chance of the game came in the in the 32nd minute through Thabiso Monyane but his well struck free kick was saved by Adamu Abubakar.
Valentine Ozorwanfor received the first yellow card of the game 10 minutes before the break for a late challenge on Lyle Forster.
The Olympic Eagles survived a big scare in the 42nd minute when Teboho Mokoena’s shot from outside the box hit the woodwork.
Imama Amapakabo’s piled pressure on their opponents after the break who maintained their discipline at the back.
Bright Enobakhare took the place of Orji Okonkwo on the hour mark as Nigeria look to add more firepower to their attack.
Sunday Faleye and Tom Dele-Bashiru later came in for Sunusi and Effiong respectively.
Faleye missed the chance to score the winning goal for Nigeria on the stroke of 90 minutes when he directed his header wide from inside the box.
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