Nigeria has qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics after defeating host Senegal in the semi-final of the 2015 Africa U-23 Championship.

Etebo Oghenekaro’s penalty in the 75th minute was all the Dream Team VI needed to ease past the host after Ousseynou Thioune had handled the ball in his penalty area to prevent Eyo Ebong from scoring.

Ibrahima Keita failed to put his side ahead in the first half after seeing his penalty saved by Man of the Match, Emmanuel Daniel who guessed the right way.

With this victory, the Dream Team will now face winner of the Algeria/South Africa match for the 2015 Africa U-23 title, with the 2016 Olympics Men’s football event ticket in their kitty.

In the first half, Nigeria weathered the pressure and finished stronger – Segun Oduduwa’s goal-line clearance, and further heroics from Daniel denied goals from Ismaila Sarr, Keita and Samba Ndiaye.

Parading four foreign based players in their starting XI, against Nigeria’s one

[Junior Ajayi] , Serigne Saliou Dia’s boys troubled the Dream Team VI who were without captain Azubuike Okechukwu, Augustine Dimgba and Taiwo Awoniyi .

Senegal’s  pace and drive in attack left Dream Team VI disorganised early on in the game, and when Sarr hacked over El Hadhi Pape’s 10th-minute pass, it marked a rare moment of encouragement for Saliou Dia’s team.

In the closing stages of the first half, the hosts were awarded a questionable penalty after Cheikou Dieng fell to Daniel’s attempt to save his shot. The resultant kick was saved by the Nigerian goalie who dived in the right direction.

A drop in tempo early in the second half clearly suited Nigeria, but Junior Ajayi could not capitalise when he got ball possession sent a half-chance his way.  The CS Sfaxien forward was wasteful again in the 65th minute having been teed up by the impressive Muhammed Usman.

Nigeria got their only goal in the game when Etebo sent goalkeeper Ndiaye the wrong way from the penalty mark after Thioune had handled the ball intentionally – which got him sent off.