Home Sport Nigeria hold Banyana Banyana at home to book tickets to Paris

Nigeria hold Banyana Banyana at home to book tickets to Paris

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Nigeria broke Banyana Banyana’s hearts when they secured a narrow 1-0 win on aggregate to book their place at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

South Africa’s Bongeka Gamede fights Nigeria’s Chiwendu Ihezou for the ball during their Olympic qualifier at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane on Tuesday. Picture: Phill Magakoe, AFP

Nigeria broke Banyana Banyana’s hearts when they secured a narrow 1-0 win on aggregate to book their place at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The game at Loftus ended goalless after 90 minutes, but the Nigerians go through thanks to winning last week’s first leg 1-0.

Tuesday’s game in the capital was not a classic to write home about as Nigeria were happy to sit back and protect their slender lead from the first leg.

The two teams, ranked number one and two on the continent, were looking to get back to the Olympics having missed out on the 2020 Tokyo games, which took place in 2021 due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

South Africa’s last appearance at the games was at Rio de Jainero in 2016, while Nigeria’s last Olympics Games appearance was at Beijing in 2008.

While South Africa showed more urgency between the two sides, the first half was a low key affair as chances were few and far between.

As the second half wore on, the South Africans started to grow in confidence, which resulted in Nigeria taking the cautious approach to the encounter.

However, Desiree Ellis’ team just could not find the final ball to create an opening. Hilda Magaia thought she was brought down in the box on the hour mark, but the referee waved it on.

As South Africa kept pushing, the Nigerian defence seemed to remain strong to contain the threat, which frustrated the home side as they searched for an equaliser to get back into the tie.

Thembi Kgatlana was kept quiet by the Nigerian defence, and she never really got going during the encounter.

Unfortunately, the African champions were unable to find the goal, and the game ended in a stalemate to send Nigeria to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

IOL Sport

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