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The National Under-23 team, the Dream Team, on Thursday defeated their Brazilian counterparts 1-0 in an international friendly in Brazil.
Ubong Ekpai’s first half header was enough to give Nigeria the win against a strong Brazil U23 side preparing for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Nigeria went ahead in the third minute when Imoh Ezekiel ran through the Brazilian defence to lay a pass to Popoola Sodiq whose shot hit the cross bar, but Ubong Ekpai was there to head in the rebound.
Brazil gradually settled into the game and came close to scoring when Gabriel’s shot was saved by Emmanuel Daniel who was excellent in the first half.
Felipe Anderson also had a great chance to equalise for the hosts but his header was tipped into the crossbar by Daniel.
The left side of Nigeria’s defence was giving Brazil joy as they kept pouring through that channel and were nearly rewarded but Gabriel missed another chance.
Imoh Ezekiel was a constant threat for Nigeria in attack as he found space to hit a shot which was put over the bar by the Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson.
Brazil were the much better side but Nigeria defended stoutly and would have gone ahead if not for the profligacy of the attackers.
The trio of Junior Ajayi, Imoh Ezekiel and Victor Osimhen all had chances to add to Nigeria’s tally but couldn’t score.
Brazil were always a threat coming forward as Emmanuel Daniel did well to save another Gabriel effort before substitute goalkeeper Yusuf Mohammed tipped over the bar from a brilliant strike by Fernando.
The Dream Team defended very to shut out Brazil during the latter stages of the game and held on for a slim 1-0 win.