Nigeria’s Under23 football team, the Dream Team V will not take part at the 2012 London Olympics as they failed to qualify for the semifinals of the Caf Olympic qualifying tournament in Morocco.
The Nigerians saved their best for the last as they thrashed Algeria 4-1 in Marrakech on Friday night.
It was anything but straightforward for the Nigerian side as they struggled to distinguish themselves offensively despite enjoying good spells of possession.
Algeria shot into the lead shortly before half time with striker, Bagdad Bounedjah making hay on 42 minutes.
Nigeria responded with deadly efficiency in the second half as Athletico Baleares midfielder, Raheem Lawal claimed a hat-trick before setting up Sheffield Wednesday poacher, Danny Uchechi for the fourth.
The victory proved to be too little too late as Senegal defeated Morocco 1-0 in the group’s other game to see both sides progressing to the semis on six points ahead of Nigeria who could only manage three points from three games.
“We did everything we could to put things right. After our first two games, we knew our destiny was no longer in our hands and won (on Friday against Algeria) but the news from the other game has made this a sad night for us,” assistant coach of the Nigerian team, Stanley Eguma told SuperSport.com.
“It’s a pity we won’t be going to the Olympics and we just want to apologize to Nigerians.”
The failure of the Dream Team V caps a horror year for Nigerian football with the Super Eagles failing to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and the women’s team, the Super Falcons failing to qualify for the Olympics and the All Africa Games.