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Saturday, 12 December 2015

Senegal 2015: Dream Team wins CAF U-23 trophy





The Dream Team VI of Nigeria on Saturday night were crowned champions of the Confederation of Africa Football U-23 Nations Cup with a 2-1 victory over Algeria in the final played in Dakar.
Competition’s top scorer, Oghenekaro Etebo scored twice in the first half to give Nigeria a 2-1 lead with Nigeria defender Segun Oduduwa conceding an own goal but Coach Samson Siasia had goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel to thank for a 65th minute penalty save to keep Nigeria in the game and ultimately win the trophy.
Nigeria were rewarded for their daring attacking football and they could have gone ahead in the first five minutes through FIFA U17 World Cup hotshot Victor Osimhen, who was getting his first start in this championship.
However, the Nigeria Dream Team VI finally took the lead after 14 minutes from the penalty spot after Etebo drove into the Algeria goal area and was brought down by Ayoub Abdellaoui for a penalty which the Warri Wolves midfielder converted sending goalkeeper Sahli the wrong way.
On the half hour mark Algeria’s Zinedine Ferhat’s dangerous cross from the right was headed home by Oduduwa into his own net.
Etebo will then restore Nigeria’s lead in the 41st minute when he again drove into the Algerian defense before firing past the onrushing goalkeeper for his fifth goal of the competition and gifting Coach Samson Siasia winning his first trophy.
The Dream Team players for their win got $4, 000 each for emerging Africa Champions.
In the third place game, South Africa picked the last of the three tickets available to Africa as they defeated hosts Senegal 3-1 on penalties to win the third-place playoff at the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations to join Nigeria and Algeria for the Olympic Games in Rio 2016.
The hero was undoubtedly goalkeeper Jody February, who saved a penalty in regulation time as well as three in the shootout to see Owen Da Gama’s side emerge triumphant despite Senegal’s dominance for most of the match at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar.

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