Nigeria’s Dream Team defeated Sweden 1-0 to qualify for the quarter final of the football event of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
A 40th minute goal by Umar Sadiq made all the difference for the Samson Siasia side who appeared wasteful in front of goals after scoring five in their last match against Japan.
The Dream Team who look more refreshed and prepared than they were in their last game against Japan, found their rhythm right from the kick off and dominated play but could not convert chances.
Sadiq Umar finally broke the deadlock in the 40th minute via a powerful header that could not be stopped by goalkeeper Andreas Linde. That goal saw the Nigeria take the lead in to the break.
After the break, Nigeria continued from where they left off, causing troubles for the defense of the Swedes and John Obi Mikel saw his goal-bound shot parried away by Linde.
Sweden’s Adam Lundqvist bagged the first yellow in the 58th minute for a rough tackle on Oghenekaro Etebo after which they made their first substitution with Alexander Fransson giving way for Ken Sema.
The Dream Team was close to extending their lead when Etebo supplied a pass to an on-rushing Sadiq who could not get a touch on the ball, and minutes later, the lanky attacker was substituted for Aminu Umar as the game entered its final 20 minutes.
With 15 minutes left to play, Sweden had a chance to draw level but Mikael Ishak’s shot was off target.
Sweden rejuvenated in the final 10 minutes after some changes that saw Mikel being pulled off for Kingsley Madu and Jacob Larsson coming in for Lundqvist for Sweden. And their best opportunity came when skipper Astrit Ajdarevic’s chance was blocked by defender Muenfuh Sincere.
Sweden pushed further but a determined Nigerian defense ensured the African earn all three points and secured a second consecutive victory to qualify for the quarter final.