Striker Asisat Oshoala’s second half strike at the Agege Stadium, Lagos on Tuesday was enough to hand the Super Falcons 1-0 victory over Algeria, and advance to the third round of the 2020 Olympics on 3-0 aggregate.
The African champions play Ivory Coast, who beat Mali 3-0 on aggregate, in the next round.
It was a hard-fought victory for the Falcons, who won the first leg 2-0 in Blida, but coach Thomas Dennerby opted for a more conservative approach, which put the team on the back foot as they failed to create any clear cut chance in the first 45 minutes.
With Algeria knowing that they had to score twice to at least have any chance of going through, they threw everything at the Falcons but were unable to threaten Oluechi Tochukwu, in goal for the Falcons.
But Nigeria started the second half the better side, creating chances. Norway-based forward Rasheedat Ajibade had a goal disallowed for offside as the home side piled on the pressure.
Dennerby made a quick substitution just 12 minutes into the second half as he brought on CeciliaNku for Okoronkwo Amarachi.
Nigeria then grabbed the only goal of the encounter in the 57th minute when Oshoala picked up a loose ball from the midfield and made a superb solo run, dribbling past three defenders, before coolly slotting past the Algerian keeper.
Dennerby said after the match, “It is a good thing that we qualified for the next round but I am not satisfied with our performance today (Tuesday). We didn’t pass the ball around very well and we allowed them create chances.
“Our passes, movement and speed is not what is expected of this team. I must say that we were a bit calm and relaxed because we won the first leg 2-0,we have to improve and get better. For me, this wasn’t a good performance because I always love to play good football. A good performance with a 1-0 victory is okay for me.”