South Americans 5 – 2 Nigeria: Olympic‎ Eagles Look To Beat Colombia, Slash Dominance

South Americans 5 – 2 Nigeria: Olympic‎ Eagles Look To Beat Colombia, Slash Dominance

Following wins against Japan and Sweden, Nigeria U-23s will take on Colombia in their inconsequential final Group B game in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.

While the U-23 Eagles can afford to rest players, the Colombians are going for broke with all the weapons in their armoury as they must win to progress into the quarter-finals.


Looking ahead of the clash, Completesportsnigeria.com's JAMES AGBEREBI takes a historical look at how Nigerian teams have fared against South American teams at the Olympics. 

NIGERIA 3-3 BRAZIL (Group Stage: Mexico City 1968 Olympics)

Zenith Ziva

Nigeria's first ever meeting against a South American team in the football event of the Olympic Games was against Brazil in Mexico City, 1968.

After losing to Japan and Spain, 3-1 and 3-0 respectively, Nigeria took a surprise 3-0 first half lead against Brazil with goals from Kenneth Olayombo (brace) and Peter Anieke.

But in the second half, Brazil drew level, thanks to strikes from Fernando Ferreti, Tiao and an own-goal by Segun Olumodeji.

COLOMBIA 1-0 NIGERIA (Group Stage: Moscow 1980 Olympics)

The second South American team to face Nigeria at the Olympics was Colombia in Moscow 1980 Olympic Games.

It was Nigeria's last group game after losing 3-1 to Kuwait and drawing 1-1 with  Czechoslovakia in their first two games.

But it was the Colombians that triumphed, thanks to a 55th minute goal by Benjamin Cardona which confirmed Nigeria's exit.

BRAZIL 4-0 NIGERIA (Group Stage: Seoul 1988 Olympics)

After their first meeting in 1968, Nigeria and Brazil clashed again in their first  group match  at the Seoul 1988 Olympics. 

Unlike in their first encounter, the Brazilians secured an emphatic 4-0 win with goals from Edmar, Romario (brace) and Bebeto.

Nigeria went on to lose 3-1 to Yugoslavia and 1-0 to Australia to crash out in the group stage.

BRAZIL 1-0 NIGERIA (Group Stage: Atlanta 1996 Olympics)

At the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, Nigeria were drawn in the same group along with Brazil, Hungary and Japan.

Nigeria defeated Hungary 1-0, saw off Japan 2-0 but for the second time, lost to Brazil in the football event of the Olympics.

Needing an outright win to qualify for the quarter-finals, Brazil claimed a hard-fought 1-0 win courtesy of Ronaldo.

Nigeria and Brazil qualified for the quarter-finals while Japan and Hungary were eliminated.

NIGERIA 4-3 BRAZIL (S/Finals: Atlanta 1996 Olympics)

Both Nigeria and Brazil met again at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics. This time, it was in the semi-finals.

It looked like business as usual for the Brazilians as goals from Flavio Conceicao and Bebeto gave them a 3-1 half-time lead.

Showing resilience and determination, Nigeria fought back to tie the game at 3-3 before going on to win during extra-time, thanks to a golden goal by Nwankwo Kanu. 

It was Nigeria's first ever win against Brazil at any level.

NIGERIA 3-2 ARGENTINA (Final: Atlanta 1996 Olympics)

Nigeria proved that the win against Brazil was not a fluke as they went on to beat another South American heavyweight, Argentina, in the final of the men's football event of the 1996 Olympics.

Claudio Lopez gave Argentina an early lead which was cancelled out by Celestine Babayaro before half-time.

Hernan Crespo put Argentina ahead 2-1 from the penalty spot but once again Nigeria drew level through Daniel Amokachi.

And with few minutes to the end of the game, Emmanuel Amuneke scored to give Nigeria the win and Africa's first Olympic football gold.


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CHILE 4-1 NIGERIA (Q/Finals: Sydney 2000 Olympics)

Grouped with  the likes of Honduras, Italy and Australia, Nigeria qualified for the quarter-finals of the Sydney Olympics where they tackled a Chile side led by Ivan Zamorano.

By half-time, Chile were 3-0 up with goals coming from Pablo Contreras, Zamorano and Reinaldo Navia.

In the second half, Rodrigo Tello made it 4-0, before Victor Agali grabbed a consolation goal for Nigeria. 

ARGENTINA 1-0 NIGERIA (Final: Beijing 2008 Olympics)

Nigeria and Argentina met in the final of the Olympics, this time, at the Beijing 2008 games.

Playing against a star-studded Argentine side that had the likes of Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano, Juan Roman Riquelme and Angel Di Maria, it was the South Americans that emerged with a slim 1-0 win.

The only goal was scored by Di Maria who finished off a Messi through pass with a fine lob over Ambrose Vansekin, to give Argentina their second Olympic football gold.

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