The Nigeria U-23 team will face Denmark in the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics Men’s football event after the Dream Team VI lost their last group game 2-0 to Colombia in Sao Paulo early Thursday morning
The South Americans were clinical as an early first half goal by captain Teofilo Gutierrez and a second-half penalty from Dorlan Pabon prove to be enough.
Dream Team VI manager Samson Siasia as expected rested some key players but surprisingly started Captain Mikel Obi and topscorer Oghenekaro Etebo after already securing top spot even before the Colombia match.
The Los Cafeteros took a fourth minute lead as unmarked Sporting Lisbon forward, Gutierrez, volleyed a cross from Pabon past Daniel Akpeyi who was making his first appearance in goal for Nigeria in the tournament.
The Colombians continued to pile pressure on the Nigerian defence as they grew in confidence – Akpeyi denied Harold Preciado’s close-range header before Pabon put his efforts wide.
The Dream Team VI created opportunities of their own as Roma striker Sadiq Umar played Oghenekaro Etebo through on goal but he failed to make the most of the chance
The former Warri Wolves had another chance but Cristian Bonilla in goal for Colombia saved comfortably from his well-struck freekick.
However, it was Colombia that increased their lead in the second half as Dream Team VI goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi brought down Preciado and Pabon took the resultant penalty which he converted effortlessly for 2-0.
The win over Nigeria earned Colombia a quarter final pairing against hosts Brazil in Sao Paulo as they finished second in Group B with five points while the Dream Team VI topped the log with six points and will travel to Salvador on Saturday to play Denmark.
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