SALVADOR: The latest edition of Nigeria’s Olympic men’s ‘Dream Team’ saw off Denmark in a straightforward 2-0 quarter-final victory at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador.
John Obi Mikel and Aminu Umar scored either side of half-time to send their side to Sao Paulo for a meeting with Germany on Wednesday.
After both sides lad lost their final group games, each had a point to prove heading into the last eight clash. Nigeria were by far the most forward-thinking and took the initiative in the opening half with Imoh Ezekiel a constant thorn in the side of the Danes.
He almost produced a goal in the opening minutes, his blocked shot falling to Sadiq Umar, who shot directly at goalkeeper Jeppe Hojbjerg.
The Danes’ response saw Casper Nielsen clip the top of the bar but Nigeria finished the first half in command after Ezekiel burst down the left and quared for captain John Obi Mikel to sidefoot home.
Ezekiel continued to prove a nuisance after the break, twisting and turning past several Danish defenders before firing over the crossbar.
Samson Siasia’s team would not be denied. Chelsea midfielder Mikel curled a left-wing corner into the penalty area and Aminu Umar rose to head home.
Despite a late chance for substitute Oluwafemi Ajayi, the Nigerians did not add to their lead but progressed comfortably into the semi-finals.
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