A stubborn Zambia U23 side held their Nigerian counterparts to a 0-0 draw in an All-African Games Qualifier first leg clash at the Abuja National Stadium yesterday.
It was a match that pundits had tipped the Dream Team VI to win, but they rued their complacency in front of goal. Heading to the final round of the qualifiers, Samson Siasia led team dispatched Gabon 6-1 on aggregate in the first round.
The hosts were let down by their wayward finishing, with Junior Ajayi and Oghenekaro Etebo the major culprits.
Siasia’s men saw plenty of possession but they had nothing to show after 90 minutes in Abuja as they wasted excellent chances. Despite the introduction of Peter Onyekachi there was nothing stopping the visitors from picking a positive result.
Nigeria pushed forward in the opening stages and it was Etebo looking to have an immediate impact, with his overhead kick hitting the woodwork.
Ajayi, who was later hauled off was looking the most likely for the homers and he should have done better, but he scuffed his shot. After the break the Zambians stuck to their pattern of soaking the pressure and slowly took the game to the hosts.
Nigeria might have sensed an opportunity to claim a win but it was a frustrating game for them. It was a difficult day for the hosts as the away team held on to deny Nigeria and take a 0-0 draw into next month’s second leg.