Nigeria Destroy Belgium To Reach Final

Nigeria 4-1 Belgium

Nigeria have clinched a place in the Olympics football tournament in style – by thrashing a hapless Belgium side at Shanghai Stadium on Tuesday evening.

12 years after clinching the gold medal at the Atlanta Games, Nigeria are starting to dream of gold again. The Super Eagles turned on a superlative performance, tearing Belgium apart with four goals in the semi-final. 

A brace from Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi, together with goals from Olubayo Adefemi and Chibuzor Okonkwo fired Nigeria into the final. Belgium scored a late consolation goal through substitute Laurent Ciman. 

First Half
Straight from the kick-off, Nigeria showed they meant business when they exerted their dominance in the opening minutes.

Belgium keeper Logan Bailly was tested by Nigeria skipper Victor Obinna, when he dived down low to save Obinna’s powerful shot. 

Belgium, who were rated outsiders for a medal at the Olympics, exceeded expectations by reaching the semi-finals. In an earlier interview with the FIFA website, Belgium coach Jean Francois De Sart said his charges had come to the Beijing Games to “achieve something”. 

"We came here to China to achieve something at the Olympic Football Tournament. We knew we wouldn't find it easy in the first few games, but we're getting stronger all the time," he said. 

Despite defeating Italy to clinch their semi-final finish, De Sart’s players were dealt a painful lesson on defending by Nigeria. Adefemi was first to capitalise on 17 minutes. 

The Belgian defence did not clear the ball, and it fell onto to the path of Adefemi, who raced into the box and blasted his shot past Bailly. Undeterred, Belgium went in search of an equaliser. 

Midfielder Tom De Mul had an opportunity to help his side draw level. The Sevilla player picked up a loose ball in the box, but failed to strike the ball towards goal. 

Nigeria missed a chance to double their lead ten minutes before the break, when Hertha Berlin striker Solomon Okoronkwo let fly a shot which went past the post. 

Second Half
After the restart, Nigeria came out firing on all cylinders. In the 50th minute, Peter Odemwingie chanced on a loose ball, after a poor clearance from the Belgium defence. 

The winger nearly gets past Bailly, but the goalkeeper stood firm to deny Odemwingie. 

Ajax midfielder Jan Vertonghen could have levelled terms for Belgium. His well-struck volley however, was parried away by Nigeria custodian Ambruse Vanzekin. 

Belgium soon found themselves two goals down, as the Africans netted their second on 59 minutes. Everton striker Victor Anichebe threaded a pinpoint pass to Ogbuke Obasi, blasting the ball home with the outside of his left boot. 

Though Obasi appeared to be offside, referee Pablo Pozo ruled it as a goal for Nigeria. 

Obinna was the architect for Obasi’s second goal in the 72nd minute. The Chievo striker passed the ball to the pacy Obasi who unleashed a powerful blinder off 25 yards past Bailly. 

Six minutes later, Chibuzor Okonkwo hammered the final nail in Belgium’s coffin, when he scored in similar fashion as Obasi.

Substitute Laurent Ciman pulled a goal back for the Belgians on 88 minutes, as Belgium’s dreams of gold ended at the final whistle. 

Nigeria will face off against either Brazil or Argentina in the gold medal match in Beijing on Saturday.

Excellent game by Nigeria who totally out-played the Belgium side. Lots of goals and misses by the Eagles throughout the game. Nigeria will now play one of the best South America teams in Beijing for the finals.

18′ [1 - 0] O. Adefemi

60′ [2 - 0] C.O.O. Edu

73′ [3 - 0] C.O.O. Edu

79′ [4 - 0] C. Okonkwo

89′ [4 - 1] L. Ciman
Nigeria Destroy Belgium To Reach Final Reviewed by admin Ucop on 4:30 PM Rating: 5

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