Striker Taiwo Awoniyi scored twice as Nigeria U23 defeated hosts Zambia 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Heroes National Stadium in Lusaka to book a place in the 2015 All African Games.
Awoniyi, a late call up by coach Samson Siasia ensured that the hosts were silenced after delaraing they have qualified follwing their goalless draw in the first leg in Abuja last month.
Nigeria were however made to face a frantic end as the Zambians pulled a goal back through Friday Samu late in the second half.
Coach Fighton Simukonda had boasted that his side would send the Nigerians packing after the first leg ended 0-0 in Abuja.
The Zambians dominated the early part of the game but the Dream Team defence looked resolute as they thwarted every attacking forays of the hosts.
Awoniyi’s fine finish in the 34th minute gave Nigeria the lead going to the half time break but the hosts who came back stronger in the second half drew level courtesy of Samu’s strike in the 76th minute.
However, it was Awoniyi who ensured victory for the visitors with his well-placed strike with four minutes remaining to the end of the game.
Nigeria have now qualified for the All African Games men football event after missing out on the competition in 2011.
Stories by LUKMAN OLOGUNRO