Nigeria Under-23 football team’s failure to reach the Rio Olympics Gold medal final after the defeat to Germany last night in Sao Paulo has left the team to compete against Honduras for the consolatory bronze medal match on Saturday.
The winner, Germany will now face hosts Brazil in the Gold medal game after the third place match.
Against the expectation of Brazilian fans at the stadium yesterday, Germany created the better chances, while African champions Nigeria hardly troubled the opposing defence, who adopted the offside tactic to curtail their offensive threat.
The Germans deserved their lead after nine minutes through big defender Lukas Klostermann, who steered home a low cross from the right.
But they left it late to double their advantage a minute to full time through substitute Petersen, when he turned in a pass from an acute angle.
Nigeria were gifted a big chance by the German goalkeeper Timo Horn to equalize three minutes after the opponents went in front when his poor clearance fell to Sadiq Umar inside the box, but he somehow blocked the effort.
In the 20th minute, Nigeria goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel made a point-blank save off Lars Bender to keep his team in the game.
And on half of the hour, Sadiq Umar and then Mikel could not capitalize on another slip by the German defence.
But Germany created the better chances in the first half – skipper Meyer saw his shot from outside the box miss target not by much and two minutes later, Davie Selke’s shot from top of the box was firmly held by the Nigeria goalie.
In the 42nd minute, Selke failed to get a good touch to another low cross from the right with Troost-Ekong breathing down his neck, before Serge Gnabry failed to make the most of another good chance minutes later.
In first half stoppage time, Sadiq Umar put Aminu through on goal, only for a German tackle right inside the box put the ball out for a corner.
Germany curtailed the attacking threat of the Africans, who failed to step up their game for all 90 minutes.
Earlier in the day, Neymar scored after only 14 seconds – the fastest goal in Olympic football history – as Brazil thrashed Honduras 6-0 to reach the men’s final in Rio.
Barcelona forward Neymar dispossessed Johnny Palacios to put the hosts ahead.
Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus scored twice, Marquinhos and Luan both netted from close range and Neymar completed the rout with an injury-time penalty.
Brazil began their campaign with two goalless draws against South Africa and Iraq and were booed by their own fans after their second match.
Nevertheless, they are now only 90 minutes away from winning their first Olympic Games men’s football gold medal after losing in the final in 1984, 1988 and 2012.
After Neymar, who played in the 2-1 final loss against Mexico four years ago, gave Brazil an early lead, they never looked like losing.
No other Brazilian player had touched the ball when Neymar dispossessed Palacios close to the edge of the penalty area and shot at goal. The ball hit goalkeeper Luis Lopez, who had charged out of his goal to try to smother the shot, and rebounded off Neymar into the net.
Jesus, 19, has joined Manchester City in a £27m deal, but will stay with Palmeiras until December, and he twice ran clear of the Honduras defence to score two goals and give Brazil a 3-0 lead after only 35 minutes.
Marquinhos added a fourth, blasting home from close-range when unmarked following a corner, before Luan tapped in after substitute Felipe Anderson’s run.
Neymar got his second goal of the match with a 92nd-minute penalty after Palacios fouled Luan.