Wednesday , April 14 2021

Nigeria Olympic soccer team start qualifier against Libya – Blueprint



Current Olympic Bronze medalist, Nigeria, will begin their qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Games with a game against Libya in March next year.

Libya, expected to be on duty this week gained a walkover in their scheduled Encounters with Gambia. Nigeria on the other hand are Seeded to start campaigning from the second round.

The Nigerian team set a record in Rio when Mikel Obi-inspired team won the Bronze medal, thus making Nigeria the first team to win the three available medals at the Olympic.

Nigeria won gold at Atlanta '96, silver at Beijing 2008 before the Bronze medal achievement two years ago.

Moments later, Brazil Moments later won the gold to equal Nigeria's feat having won the bronze medal at Beijing 2008 and silver at London 2012.

While Nigeria will wait until next year before starting their qualifying campaign from the second round, Cameroon will find themselves among the minnows this week when the African Qualifying Series for Tokyo 2020 kick off.

They will host Chad in Yaounde on Friday with the second leg of the first round holding in N'Djamena next Tuesday. Chad is among the weakest football nations in the continent, never making an international impact at national team or club levels.

The Cameroon team including Samuel Eto'o won the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games gold medal match against Spain on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

However, poor results in the past two African Qualifying competitions have prevented the Central Africans being among 13 countries given byes to the second round.

In a 2012 London Olympics Qualifier, Cameroon lost on penalties to Tanzania, and were ousted by Sierra Leone on away goals in a 2016 Rio de Janeiro Eliminator.

With the Chad fixtures taking place during an international window, Cameroon can pick young foreign-based professionals as the Qualifiers are under-23 competition.

Ghana, Bronze medalists at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, are another country who must compete in the first round, facing fellow West African Togo in Kumasi and Lome.

Like Cameroon, the fall from Grace of Ghana can be traced back to early exits from the last two qualifying competitions.

They were Shocked by Sudan in a 2012 Eliminator and eliminated by Congo Brazzaville after a penalty shootout in the last edition.

Guinea were among the African contenders at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, but have not qualified since.

They set off on a journey they hope to lead to Japan by traveling to Nouakchott for a match against Mauritania, a fast-paced football Nation.

It was also a long time ago that Sudan made their Sole appearance, at the 1972 Munich Games, and their 2020 campaign started off to the Seychelles.

Mauritius, the other Indian Ocean state competing, visits Kenya, and there are also a number of match-ups between neighboring countries.

Violence-torn Somalia makes a rare international appearance, but the security situation in capital Mogadishu means the home fixture against Ethiopia has been moved to Djibouti.

First legs are scheduled for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with return matches on Sunday and Tuesday

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