Nigeria’s U23 boys, Olympic Eagles are meeting their Guinean counterparts for the third time ever as they eye a final qualification to the U-23 Africa Cup of nations in Morocco, the springboard to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Both teams last met in 1995 at the African Games in Harare in Zimbabwe. At the group stage, Guinea beat Nigeria 1-0.
Both later qualified for the losers’ final match for the third place and played a 1-1 draw. Nigeria won the eventual penalty shootout by 4-1.
Both are now meeting again on Wednesday as the qualification for the football event of the 2024 Olympics gathers momentum.
The first leg match was initially slated for Ibadan but has now been shifted to Abuja on the 43rd anniversary of Nigeria’s first Africa Cup of Nations triumph.
To reach this stage of the series, the 1996 champions defeated the Tanzania U23 team 3-1 on aggregate in October 2022, winning 2-0 at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan after both teams stalemated the first leg in Dar es Salaam at 1-1.
The winner over two legs between Nigeria and Guinea will advance to the finals of the Africa U23 Cup of Nations scheduled to be hosted by Morocco later in the year. It is also at the tournament in Morocco that Africa’s flag bearers at next year’s Men’s Olympic Football Tournament in Paris will emerge.
The return leg against the Guineans will be in Morocco on Monday, 27th March.