10-man The 2023 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations final round, first leg qualifying match between Guinea and the Nigeria U-23 men’s national team ended in a 0-0 draw.
The team led by Salisu Yusuf put on a lackluster performance in the game played at Abuja’s Moshood Abiola Stadium.
Although they were unable to create any clear-cut scoring opportunities, the Guineans had a strong start to the game and launched some promising assaults in the opening minutes.
The Nigerian goalkeeper Nurudeen Badmus is to be credited for his team’s escape from a home loss due to his several saves at some point when the Olympic Eagles struggled to find the decisive edge in attack and rarely attempted to shoot at the Guinea goal.
Ifeanyi Ogba had the finest scoring chances for Nigeria late in the game, but he wasted the wonderful opportunity before the hosts were down one player after defender Christopher Nwaeze was dismissed.
Late in the second half, the Nigerians improved their play, forcing the visitors to waste time as the game came to a close. The home crowd became enraged as the Guineans struggled with sitting deep.
Yusuf, the head coach of Nigeria, responded after the game, saying, “We need to go back to the drawing board and prepare well for the return leg.”
The second leg will be played the following week in Morocco, and the teams that win both legs will advance to the U23 AFCON.
The top three teams at the U23 AFCON finals will also be given a guaranteed spot at the Paris, France, Summer Olympics.