The AS Roma striker made the difference in a game that saw the African champions dominate possession but unable to score more as they reached the quarter finals
Nigeria defeated Sweden 1-0 at the Arena Amazonia in Manaus on Sunday to reach the quarter finals of the 2016 Olympic Games.
Samson Siasia's men dominated the game but could only convert one of their numerous chances via a first half header from Sadiq Umar.
The Nigerians, who looked to have fully recovered from the flight troubles that trailed their first game against Japan, were unchanged against a Swedish side that drew its first game against Colombia.
While both qualified for the Olympics as continental champions, it was the African U23 champions that showed greater intent in attack as they pushed forward in search of goals early while the European U21 champions were content to soak up the pressure.
Goalkeeper Andreas Linde was the busier on the night as Oghenekaro Etebo forced him to make a double save following a miss by Simon Tibbling at the other end.
Etebo continued to trouble the young Blagult backline with the support of front men Imoh Ezekiel and the lanky Sadiq.
It would take 39 minutes for Nigeria to finally break the deadlock when Sadiq got onto the end of a pinpoint cross into the Swedish area by full back Stanley Amuzie. The AS Roma forward was right on target as he nodded his side ahead in a half where they shaved possession by 68 percent.
The Nigerians coasted in the second half but they could not convert their chances with Etebo, scorer of four goals against Japan, left frustrated with his inability to beat Linde.
A late rally from the Swedes led by Joakim Nilsson met a sturdy Nigeria central defence marshaled by William Ekong and Muenfuh Sincere.
Nigeria’s all round play was much better than against Japan as Mikel John Obi, Azubuike Okechukwu and Usman Muhammed kept the opponents in check. Mikel’s turns and swift runs gave the attack the extra man as the Chelsea star continued to influence proceedings until he was subbed off late on.
With six points from the first two group matches, Nigeria have qualified for the quarter finals ahead of their final game against Colombia. Sweden will take on Japan in the last game for a chance to reach the knock out stage.
Having qualified for the quarter finals of the Rio Olympic Games Men's football, the Nigeria's U-23 team is set to maintain their 100% winning record against Colombia in their last group B match at the Corinthians Arena on Wednesday (11pm Nigerian time).
The Dream Team are top of the group with six points after beating Japan 5-4 in their opening fixture on Friday before a slim 1-0 win over Sweden on Sunday automatically sealed the team's quarter final tickets regardless of the result against Colombia.
Still on two points, Colombia drew 2-2 against Sweden and 2-2 against Japan; needing a victory in their final group match against Nigeria to have any slight chance of qualifying from the group considering the fact that a win for either Japan or Sweden could end their Olympic dream. If Japan wins they would be on four points and if Sweden wins they will also be on four points.
Nigeria will be relying on the striking prowess of Ogenekharo Etebo and Sadiq Umar who have both formed a twin partnership. The two players have scored six goals between them and will be poise to wreck the Colombians with their goals on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, coach Samson Siasia has assured that his team will continue to take it one game at a time in the ongoing Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016.
"I think for me and the boys all we are doing now is taking it a game at a time, we are not bothered about the team we will be playing in the quarter finals, let's play Colombia first and from there we will think of our opponents at that stage.
“The issue of the team I will prefer to play in the quarter final stage doesn't arise now; what is uppermost in my mind is getting my boys focused for every game."
Nigeria last won the Olympic Games in 1996 at Atlanta where the team defeated Argentina 3-2 in the final match to clinch Africa's first gold medal.
Home » Bet365 » Colombia U-23 – Nigeria U-23 » WORLD Mens Olympic Football Tournament 2016 » Colombia U-23 – Nigeria U-23 Live Stream, Preview and Prediction WORLD Mens Olympic Football Tournament 2016