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U-23 AFCON 2019: Olympic Eagles Lose 1-0 To CIV in First Group Game

U-23 AFCON 2019: Olympic Eagles Lose 1-0 To CIV in First Group Game

Defending champions the Olympic Eagles of Nigeria got off their campaign at the 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations on a dour note following a 1-0 loss to Cote d’lvoire in first Group B match at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo, on Saturday evening, reports Completesports.com.

The Olympic Eagles finished the game with 10-men after centre-back Olisa Ndah was sent off for a poor tackle inside the box 20 minutes from time with Silas Gnaka scoring the resultant penalty kick.

The Ivorians dominated the game even though the Olympic Eagles created a number of chances in the second half.

They nearly took the lead in the 16th minute but Abubakar Adamu produced a fine save to keep the score level.


Nigeria coach Imama Amapakabo made two early changes in the first half with Sunday Faleye and Mohammed Sunusi replacing Muyiwa Olabiran and Bright Enokhabare respectively.

Orji Okonkwo came close to scoring for rhe Olympic Eagles in the 65th minute but his header off a corner kick hit the cross bar.

The Eagles will face Zambia in their next game on Tuesday at the Al Salam Stadium.

By Adeboye Amosu

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  • God, have mercy on Nigeria. Football is the only source left as of joy for both poor and rich across all tribes in this nation.

    Every sector is now a show of shame.

    There is no even a sector that someone can be proud of.

    God, help us in this nation that you ordained to be great.

  • Mister 2 years ago

    I think gouvernment should now take a décision that all national team who disgraced us like this nonsense u23 team should be beaten in miltary camp. None of them is good all of them are totally rubbish players without even make a singular pass. What a shame. This is not Naija team i swear 

    • nkemjikapj 2 years ago

      Disgrace us?You and who? Seems you are a member of the NFF? I watched some parts of the match and the boys tried especially when playing opposition from an organised federation..You can’t reap what you don’t sow.
      Age grade competition-no development infrastructure or system for harnessing quality players.
      U-23-no organised league or match fitness to keep the boys in shape
      You think we would jump queue and invite all the foreign -born players to represent Nigeria and paper over cracks on the deep eating issues.Sorry bro.It would continue till we learn

  • Samchi 2 years ago

    Now we are Looking up to the True ballers and Headline making, true flag bearing Super Eagle squad, by this time next week to massage our Hearts once again.
    Let’s forget about this Learners and look forward to the game at the Uyo stadium it’s been a while NFF used politics to denial us of the Joy of watching the Eagles play on a good turf.
    #unto the next one

    • Super Eagle will surely deliver in Uyo next week because of set standard by the coach and the team is loaded with foreign players that have access to standard facilities in their various clubs.

  • Yaiwu 2 years ago

    Imama Amapakabo !!!

  • If Zambia can beat cote de voi and nija beat Zambia and play head to head with ‘s a and referee give panalitI to eypgt den toyok will see nija loi

  • Hahaha lolx please i wonder what people are just expecting from this Imama as a coach,this man can never win a game,anyway he is there to make his money through the bribes he is collecting from his lazy men called players,next match is a must loose also,zambians will hammer them at least 3,

  • Sunnyb 2 years ago

    Another pay and play coach, bunch of useless ppl 

  • The result should not surprise anybody. If Nigerians complained about the under 20 team and the coach decided that he will depend on some of the under 20 players to prosecute Olympic qualifiers, then, what is he expecting? That those players who could not hold their own at under 20 level will suddenly become wonder workers? The coach needed some of the super eagles players to get to where he is today. Now that those players are not available he is back to square one. I wonder whatever happened to discover of players? These coaches are either unable to scout for or develop player. Either way, it just shows that all the current local nation team coaches for both Male and female have no business being the coaches of Nigeria national teams.

  • Glory 2 years ago

    I watched the game. They didn’t play badly. The goal keeper is good n I think should be given a chance with SE. We fans should try to be objective when we critisize n not just do it to make fun or satisfy our anger, for such unjustified critism can go as far dampen players morale. Just might be d reason many players are now choosing not represent Nigeria. Watching the u-23 today, you could easily see they have got an A game coming. Let’s give them till after the remaining 2 games before we conclude.

    • nkemjikapj 2 years ago

      I like your type…I had to watch the game too..and I drew to the same conclusion

      • Glory 2 years ago

        I personally critisize Manu because there were lots of suspicion regarding how he dropped certain players. There was evidently no transparency in the selection process, otherwise Manu in terms of coaching,is very good but seems to have given in to biaseness in selecting players.

    • Pompei 2 years ago

      Collect one LIKE there.

    • @ Glory, you and those that like your comment belong to Mediocre family. Can. You remember that some players from Super Eagle were used to make this team qualify for this competition? It’s from Monday you know Saturday that will be good. My prayer is for them to beat South Africa even if they are going to crash out at group stage. The team must win South Africa.

    • forte 2 years ago

      Which station televised the game?
      I scanned supersport throughout but didn’t see the game.

  • Ndubuisi 2 years ago

    Thank you Glory I didn’t watch the match and has nothing to say. I personally criticized the Eaglets cos I watched their matches.

  • Mister 2 years ago

    They are not good at all. They played like woman even woman can play better than them. What are you talking about. They are too heavy too lazy no combination. I saw nothing good perhaps only thé keeper is good. Thé rest zéro. I will not waste my time to watch this team again. No naija sipirit at all

    • Glory 2 years ago

      Sure @ Mister. They were not quick on their feet n I noticed it too. That made them to be losing second balls n once players keep losing second balls, they will be inviting persistent pressure. But good thing is, that problem can easily be solved by calling the players awareness to it.

      • Lord AMO 2 years ago

        @Glory, i’m not sure how you can fix slow footedness by merely bringing attention to it.  What I saw on my tv was an ivorien team that was fitter and stronger than our boys.  They also out-ran our boys.  When our boys had the ball they didn’t instinctively know where to go with it or what to do with it.  They were dominated in the first half and although they huffed and puffed a bit more in the second half, they lacked any coordinated play or quality.

        The alarming trend is that this year we have now seen this same pattern from every single one of our national teams including the women.  The exception is the super eagles.  What that tells one is that the rot in the system has finally set-in and is now bearing fruit.  

        For years we’ve been able to paper the cracks with individual brilliance, age cheats and the Naija can-do mentality but alas the rot has finally overtaken even that.  Bottomline is that the average Nigerian youth player lacks true football intelligence, technique, physique and quality.  The ones that seem to make it get to europe early enough and have to be re-trained otherwise all we have are water carrying footballers who run around all day but dont offer anything meaningful in terms of difference making on the pitch

  • Kelvin paul 2 years ago

    Hahahshaha.Is it not the same coach that failed to qualify under 20 to world cup few months back.it is high time we told ourselves the truth and stop giving any local coach to handle our national teams

  • Chairmanfemi 2 years ago

    @Dr Drey and other fans of Mr. Looser IMAMA AMAKPABO, kindly come out of your shells and tell us what went wrong again..smh! Yeye dey smell. A looser is always a Looser. Nothing good can come out of him. Someone failed at WAFU Tournament, Failed at CHAN qualifiers and you think a Miracle will happen now?? NFF Weldone oo. I hail una for keeping this man cuz of the Money You all are making from the players. The only thing that is paining me is that we are not going to watch Dream Team at Olympics. Anyways Good luck to them.

  • Sunnyb 2 years ago

    @chairmanfemi, let me help them, our league is bad, Nigeria no longer produces quality players, sorry my bad, when was the last time a Nigerian won CAF player of the year.There goes there lame excuses, these backward hustlers will say anything or write long children story books just to feel good.

    • Chairmanfemi 2 years ago

      I tell you @SunnyB. Lame excuses indeed. I wonder what our Bad League has to do with a team that has 15 Invited Players based Abroad out of the 23 Man squad…smh. No body should even carry League excuse and come here.. Abeg

  • For goodness sake why not invite Amuneke for this job?
    Nigeria will always suffer for their hatred of the Igbo Jews.
    Let any honest forumite here tell me that Amuneke is not better than this coach.
    Even if he qualifies, he will not go far in Japan.
    My advice is that if the manage to qualify, Rohr and Amuneke should take them to Japan.
    The igbo Jews are a covenant people, “I will bless them that bless you, and course them that course you” says the Lord God of Israel.

    • @CJ…I can see u need attention.

    • Zoomman 2 years ago

      Sir, don’t bring ethnic and religion into football, for you to be successful in life, preparation, determination and luck is needed…. secondly, it is not course but curse……..let’s make use of what we have….I believe we can still qualify…..

  • Gbich 2 years ago

    Another tribal jingoist. It’s always about tribe not about the Nation. At a time when we are lamenting a common fate someone emerges from one forest and tries to reduce everyone else to the narrowness of their brain and world.

  • Lord Amo, you make some very helpful objective observations.

    The Nigerian Under 23 Olympic hopefuls gave their best yesterday but obviously, their best wasn’t good enough.

    They played will limited imagination whilst displaying inferior invention when compared to their opponents.

    Even when we were 1 goal down, it was the Ivorians that looked more likely to score!

    They cut open the Under 23 Eagles on a number of occasions and played with a very relaxed style towards the end (as if they knew that that our boys had nothing in their tool kit to bring the back into the tie).

    It was painful to the eye to watch at times.

    And, like you said Lord Amo, they wanted to conjure the sort of individual brilliances that might have swung the tie back in our favour in times gone past.

    However, as we saw in the unsuccessful Under 17 side, such individualism has now become a predictable bane to our football.

    Opponents anticipate and then neutralise it. And it is not as if the boys are that excellent individually!

    It was a poor display by all standards by our boys.

    The prayer now is for them to pick themselves up and get something out of the other encounters whilst hoping this impressive Ivory Coast side slip up!

    We have to hope for the best , but on evidence of what I saw today from both teams, the chances of our team looks slim!

  • Simon 2 years ago

    Is time Nigeria football fans start stoning any of the national teams that perform badly if NFF failed to employ capable hands to handle the teams stone them pure them water on their arrival at the airport including all the government officials and coaches pure them water or Elubo

  • @ Glory, you and those that like your comment belong to Mediocre family. Can. You remember that some players from Super Eagle were used to make this team qualify for this competition? It’s from Monday you know Saturday that will be good. My prayer is for them to beat South Africa even if they are going to crash out at group stage. The team must win South Africa.

    • Smith 2 years ago

      Oga attention seeker
      We don see ur comment na
      No need to dey copy and paste raise to power 2 oga

  • It says a lot when a Nigerian coach (or foreign) is shortlisted for and beats other applicants in an interview for other African national team’s or major club’s job. It’s one of the clear indications of a grade A coach. Let’s leave sentiments aside and say it as it is.

    Has Imama? NO. Has Aigbogun? NO. Has Manu Garba? NO. Has Siasia? NO.

    Has Amuneke? YES (With El-Khartoum of Sudan & Tanzanian national team). Has the late Keshi? YES (Mali, Togo etc). Has the late Shuaibu Amodu? YES (Orlando Pirates). Has Christian Chukwu? YES (Kenya). Has Onigbinde? YES (Trinidad & Tobago). Has Rohr? YES.

    NFF, you only have one grade A coach at the moment – Rohr. Garbage in, garbage out. It works everywhere!

    • Kel my brother, you have said it all.very rich and insightful analysis.

      Cheers bro.

  • This is not time to blame the coach and nff. Let’s pray and souport the team stop wishing them bad luck. in football anything can hapen nigeria is not 2 big to lose a match. Heaven will not fall If they fail to qualify to tokyo. dont expect wining allways because you are not playing against animals.

  • Sunnyb 2 years ago

    @Simon, bro your comments is well noted, we need to take this country back from this animals and their supporters now before these fools destroys everything. Football is the only source of joy for most  Nigerians these goons will not rest until they ruin that joy. Imagine the pain Aigbogun, Garba now imama has inflicted on this country, these axis of evil deserved to be stoned.

  • Sunnyb 2 years ago

    @chairmanfemi, bro I tell I u, I don’t even read their long gibberish anymore, I spotted them long time ego, this copy and paste apostles are called fake cats where I came from.Watch them lecturing their mumu students soon about how bad our league is.

  • One of the biggest problems today in the various Nigeria squads at all levels: Under 17 right through to the Super eagles is questionable squad selection and dubious first teams.

    We do not call up all players on merit and often do not field our strongest side. preferring to build players up, often from obscure careers and barren spells over players in form.

    A few cases in point

    in this Under 23 squad Bright Enobakhare, a player who has played 2 matches (23 minutes and 25 minutes only) in the 2nd tier of English football, in the case of the Under 20 Henry Offia a player who had not had a single minute of league football all season (at the beginning of the world cup) in the Swedish league. None of which have scored a goal all season, to spear head a strike force for an important international competition at the expense of options.

    Further, benching an on form Sunusi Ibrahim (several goals for Nigeria – U23/Wafu/Chan since August and 10 goals in the league this year) the only potent goal scorer in the squad for Bright (who has not played nor scored as many goals since the beginning of the season and only 6 goals last season) and then playing team members out of position (Oknonkwo at CF, Bright on wings) tells me that certain confusion prevailed. Playing an obviously dubious ndah whilst benching Ozornwafor produced results – A red card and penalty against us.

    There is a distinct lack of goals in our strike force, only one (1) player who gives us a threat of goals (Sunusi). The other top striker called up Taiwo Awoniyi does not offer a threat. He has played a total of 4 matches this season with a combined playing time of less than 90 minutes (87 minutes) and no goals where there are far better options available with the same caveat – only during the FIFA window (misses the first match and the final/3rd place match). And players whom have played in the qualifying matches for this same competition. David Okereke, Stephen Odey, Dennis Bonaventure, even Victor Osimhen who was drafted to rescue the qualifying bid owing to non performance by same Taiwo. Then there are others who would produce a stronger threat than Taiwo like Sadiq Umar (10 goals and 8 assists in 22 matches this season), Tosin Aiyegun – FC Zurich (13 goals and 5 assists in 29 matches at Ventspils plus 2 goals and 1 assist in 7 matches for Zurich).

    The entire squad and team selection is no different from our Under 20 and Under 17 teams and suggests a willingness to press the self destruct button. I mean why call up less than the best legs we have?

  • Like him or Hate him, Emmanuel Amuneke is the BEST local coach available today.
    He will not change his name to a Musa, to be employed by Nigeria, Even in Islamic republic of Sudan, he was hired on MERIT, Tanzania saw his star and hired him, but a prophet is never without honour, except in his own country.

    Add Amuneke to the SE crew and hand him the Olympic Eagles, and we will see his impact.

    • Ololo 2 years ago

      You are very right cj… He is the best local coach currently. I said it before and would say it again in 2015 his u 17 side gave us two players super eagles are so much proud of a Sam chukweze and oshimem players having beautiful club football with massive club appearance, manu garba has twice lead an u 17 side excluding the one he handled this year and the one he assisted late yemi Tella,, my question still remain how many players who played under manu has had very successful club career only an uzoho and an iheanacho.. Some would mention ndidi but fail to remember he was ruled out by MRI scan hence didn’t play any significant match with manu garba, some would mention Moses Simon a player he didn’t include in his teak for reasons best known to him.. Which players did manu produced after all the chances given to him..

      We in this country fail to appreciate what we have,,, an amuneke is one of our best but we most times neglect him for reasons best known to us

  • Ololo 2 years ago

    Uzoho was a third choice goal keeper,,, not even first choice, a certain ovie ejarie who wanted to join the team from England was not included in team to work cup now many of us know what the does for reading, he scored a beautiful goal yesterday while as at 2013 he was considered not good enough for manu team… Now many of us wants him in super eagles..

    I asked this same question some days ago which player did manu produced for Nigeria that are having a good club career.. People were mentioning players that he did not take to world cup. What a shame, when the likes of those he dumped in this on going world cup start doing wonders they would say manu discovered..
    I also heard names like Jerome akor, and those bad belle players that played the last u 20 world cup as players manu discovered…

    Coaches should be pick on merit,, check their records, check players they are produced, before given coaching jobs in. What is an imma doing in u23 when a certain amuneke is free. A siasia won’t repeatedly disgrace us like this