Taiwo Awoniyi’s brace sent Nigeria through to the Football Tournament of the 2015 All-Africa Games on as Nigeria beat Zambia 2-1 in Lusaka on Sunday.
It was a winner-takes-all showdown for both sides after playing out a goalless draw in the reverse in Abuja just over three weeks ago. The win means Nigeria, figuring a handful of players from the victorious Under-20 side, advance 2-1 on aggregate.
The hosts sought to dominate the encounter from the onset at the National Heroes Stadium, but it was Awoniyi who placed Samson Siasia’s side in ascendancy in the 34th minute.
Zambia equalised on 76 minutes through substitute Friday Samu from close range after a clever combination with Shederack Malambu.
And with Nigeria already going through on away goals rule, Awoniyi sealed a clear-cut victory a minute from time with his second strike.
Nigeria goalie Daniel twice denied Zambia an equaliser on the nick of full-time, tapping Moses Phiri’s effort over the bar.
Nigeria will now join Burkina Faso and Sudan in the eight-team All-Africa Games tournament slated for September.