Nigeria U23 forward Taiwo Awoniyi has praised the hardwork and technical nous that secured his side a ticket to the men’s football event of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil after Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat of Senegal.
Oghenekaro Etebo’s strike from the penalty spot was all coach Samson Siasia’s men needed to earn a 1-0 semifinal victory against the hosts at the Léopold Sédar Senghor Stadium in Dakar.
Nigeria last appeared at the Olympics in 2008, where Siasia led the team to a silver medal finish.
Despite not featuring in the match due to injury, Awoniyi expressed delight at being part of the success story at the tournament and hailing Nigerians for their support.
“I’m very happy. We as a team are super delighted at making this happen for our country,” Awoniyi told Goal.
“I’m personally feeling great being part of the team achieving this amazing feet. It’s God and the great coaching we got from our technical crew led by coach Samson Siasia.
“Once again, I’m greatful to God for the opportunity and must appreciate Nigerians for their support and prayers.
“I must also thank the coach for the opportunity to be part of the achievement and I promise Nigerians that we will come out stronger in the final,” he concluded.
Nigeria will face Algeria, who defeated their South Africa 2-0, in the final on Saturday, December 12 at the Léopold-Sédar-Senghor Stadium.