Two goals from Oghenekaro Etebo in the first half was enough to see Nigeria emerge as champions of the second edition of the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations as the Dream Team VI beat Algeria 2-1 at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium, Dakar Saturday night.
Though Segun Oduduwa scored an own goal and the Algerians also had a penalty kick awarded to them, they could not make the most of the opportunities as Coach Samson Siasia held their nerves to emerge Champions of Africa for the first time in this cadre.
Nigeria coach Samson Siasia caught many unawares as he handed a surprise start to FIFA U-17 World Cup star, Victor Osimhen in attack and the youngster made his presence count as he helped earned his side a penalty after 13 minutes after Algeria captain Ryad Keniche fouled him in the box.
Oghenekaro made no mistake from the spot to give Nigeria the early lead they rightly deserve after making a bright start.
Nigeria held on to their lead till the hour-mark when Algeria’s quest for the equalizer paid-off as hard-pressed Oduduwa headed home a cross from the right by Ferhat into his own net.
However, Five minutes before the break, Oghenekaro restored Nigeria’s lead with a solo effort which culminated in a cool finish past Salhi, which took the tally of the Warri Wolves forward to five in the competition.
Striker Abdelhakim Amokrane came close twice to breaking the deadlock in the opening minutes of the second half heading wide on both occasions.
Despite some brave attempts by the Algerians, Nigeria held on till the end as they will now head to the Olympics as African Champions and will be joined by the duo of Algeria and South Africa.