U-23 AFCON: Nigeria misses out on Tokyo Olympics soccer

Nigeria’s  U-23 side’s has failed to qualify for the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo after failing to beat South Africa in their last Group B game in Cairo on Friday.

Unmarked Sunday Faleye wasted a great chance to snatch victory for the Nigerians in the final minute by heading across wide when a goal seems inevitable.

Ivory Coast edged Zambia 1-0 through a goal from centre-back Kouadio-Yves Dabila in the other Group B match of an eight-nation qualifying competition.

The final group matches were played simultaneously in the Egyptian capital with all four countries in contention for semi-finals places before the kick-offs.

Ivory Coast (six points) topped the final standings followed by South Africa (five) and they advanced to the semi-finals next Tuesday while Nigeria (four) and Zambia (one) head home.

Impressive Group A winners Egypt will face South Africa at the penultimate stage followed by the Ivory Coast against Group A runners-up Ghana.

The semi-finals winners are guaranteed places at the Tokyo Olympics while the losers get a second chance in the third-place play-off to fill the third and last African slot.

Egypt have competed at Olympic football tournaments 11 times — a record for an African nation, but have never collected medals.

Ghana will be seeking a seventh appearance, South Africa a third and the Ivory Coast a second at a tournament where Nigeria (1996) and Cameroon (2000) have won gold.

Olympic qualifying is restricted to under-23 footballers, but three ‘over-age’ stars are permitted at the finals.

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