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Nigeria through to Olympic semis

Nigeria team
Goals from Odemwingie and Nsofor gave Nigeria victory
Nigeria beat Ivory Coast 2-0 in a quarter-final of the Olympic Games men's football tournament in Qinhuangdao on Saturday.

Osaze Odemwingie scored with a right-footed strike in the 44th minute and Victor Obinna Nsofor converted a penalty 10 minutes from time.

Nigeria's opponents in the semi-finals on Tuesday will be Belgium, who upset Italy 3-2.

Should they win that game, Nigeria will face Brazil or Argentina in the final.

Both teams struggled to find any sort of rhythm in a sloppy first half, where the first meaningful action came in the 40th minute, when a header from Nigeria's Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi whistled over the bar.

Odemwingie's goal four minutes later came on the break, as captain Nsofor led a counter-attack which swept the length of the field and ended with Odemwingie's shot.

Obasi almost doubled the lead just after halftime, but his volley went straight to goalkeeper Atchouail Angban.

Ivory Coast, at the Olympics for the first time, pushed forward in search of an equaliser, and on 51 minutes Salomon Kalou's shot inside the box forced a diving save from Ambruse Vanzekin.

The Baby Elephants came close again in the 70th minute, when striker Gervinho went past two defenders and struck from 18 yards, but Vanzekin pushed the shot past the post.

Ivory Coast continued to press but the penalty put the game beyond their reach.

Souleymane Bamba brought down Obasi, and Obinna put the spot-kick into the top-right corner.


Nigeria: Ambrose Vanzekin, Onyekachi Apam, Dele Adeleye, Chinedu Ogbuke (Promise Isaac 90), Sani Kaita, Obinna Nsofor (capt), Solomon Okoronkwo (Monday James 78), Ebenezer Ajilore (Emmanuel Ekpo 86), Olubayo Adefemi, Peter Odemwingie, Efe Ambrose

Booked: Onyekachi Apam (42), Ambrose Vanzekin (77), Ebenezer Ajilore (85)

Ivory Coast: Atchouail Angban, Serge Wawa (Abraham Guie 87), Ousmane Diarrassouba (Anthony Moura 60), Souleymane Bamba, Benjamin Angoua, Coulibaly, Salomon Kalou, Emmanuel Kone, Mamadou Bagayoko (Djedje Franck Dja 46), Gervais Yao (capt), Sekou Cisse

Booked: Ousmane Diarrassouba (40)

Att: 29,000

Ref: M. Moradi (Iran).


see also
Nigeria edge into last eight
13 Aug 08 |  African
Victors guide Nigeria to victory
10 Aug 08 |  African
Ronaldinho shines in Brazil win
10 Aug 08 |  Football
Nigeria hold Dutch to 0-0 draw
07 Aug 08 |  African
Third Olympic gold for Africa?
06 Aug 08 |  African


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