Nigeria’s hopes of repeating the Gold Medal feat achieved by the original Dream Team at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics ended on Wednesday night after the latest generation, the Dream Team VI, were beaten 2-0 by their German counterparts in the Semifinals of the Rio 2016 Olympics football event.
Coach Samson Siasia’s men conceded as early as the ninth minute but they were unable to find an equaliser despite getting a few clear-cut opportunities in the first half.
Sadiq Umar had a great chance to restore parity in the 12th minute after Germany goalkeeper Timo Horn spilled the ball carelessly near the edge of the penalty box but the AS Roma striker lacked the sharpness to out the ball in the back of the net and Horn was able to recover.
Lars Bender almost made it 2-0 to Germany in the 21st minute but Emmanuel Daniel was alert and saved with his legs to keep the scores at 1-0. Ten minutes later, Captain John Obi Mikel had a great opportunity to score after dribbling two German defenders successfully but his shot was blocked and Nigeria could not make anything out of the resulting corner kick.
In the second half, Nigeria’s attacking moves were stifled by the opposition defence with the team looking very tired and lethargic. Stanley Amuzie wasted a golden opportunity from a freekick in the 82nd minute by blazing his shot over the bar which effectively summed up Nigeria’s second half performance.
With just one minute remaining in the game, Germany was able to seal the victory through Nils Peterson to send them through to the final where they will face hosts Brazil.
Nigeria on the other hand, still have a chance to claim the Bronze medal in the third-place match on Saturday where they will face Honduras who lost 6-0 to Brazil in the other Semifinal fixture.