Nigeria women hold South Africa and qualify for Olympics

football09 April 2024 21:19| © AFP
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Nigeria coach Randy Waldrum hailed his team after they drew 0-0 with South Africa in Pretoria on Tuesday to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games women's football tournament.

The Super Falcons won 1-0 on aggregate thanks to a Rasheedat Ajibade goal from a penalty in the first leg last Friday in Abuja.

Nigeria return to the Olympics tournament after a 16-year absence and will face world champions Spain, Japan and Brazil in the first round of the 25 July - 10 August tournament in France.

"Sixteen years without qualifying is a long time and I am extremely proud of the girls," said 67-year-old American Waldrum after a second leg that produced few scoring chances.

"It is a huge accomplishment for Nigeria and we defended brilliantly. There is work to be done when it comes to our attack, and we will improve before heading to France."

South Africa coach Desiree Ellis said: "Failing to reach the finals is obviously a huge disappointment, but I am very proud of the team.

"We gave everything we had, especially in the second half. I could not have asked for more. Congratulations to Nigeria – they defended resolutely."

Morocco or Zambia will fill the other place allocated to Africa.

The North Africans lead 2-1 from the first leg in Ndola.