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The Nigerian U-23 team on Saturday dispatched their Danish opponents at the Quarter Finals of the Rio 2016 Olympics, with goals from captain John Obi Mikel, and Aminu Umar.

The Dream Team had the brighter start of the two sides. Their early enterprise was rewarded with a goal scored in the fifteenth minute by Mikel, a cool finish into the bottom of the net after Imoh Ezekiel had supplied him with a superb pass.

Denmark had much of the possession for the rest of the first half; Nigeria’s goalkeeper Daniel Emmanuel made two world-class saves from attempts by the Danes, who fought in vain to level scores.

The second half began in much the same way as the first; the Nigerian team raised their game, making incursions into their opponent’s half and threatening to extend their lead. The fruit of their sustained forays was a second goal, which came in the 69th minute; Aminu Umar made head contact with the ball floated into the Danish area by Mikel from a corner kick, directing it into the top right corner.

Although it was not an overwhelmingly dominant performance from the dream team, they did enough to put the Danes away.

Nigeria will face Germany in the Semi Finals on Wednesday, August 17, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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This article was first published on 14th August 2016


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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