Nigeria have clinched one of Africa’s three places in the men’s football tournament for next year’s Olympics in Rio.
They narrowly beat hosts Senegal 1-0 in the first semi-final of the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations to earn a place in Saturday’s final.
Captain Peter Etebo scored the key goal from the penalty spot.
Senegal now face a crucial third-place match on Saturday, with the winners also earning a place in Brazil.
Just before half-time of a tense match, Nigeria keeper Emmanuel Daniel was both villain and hero.
First he conceded a penalty for a foul on Cheickou Dieng but he then saved a poor effort from the spot by Ibrahima Sory Keita.
With both sides struggling to find the target, Nigeria coach Samson Siasia brought on the top scorer from the recent Under-17 World Cup, Victor Osimhen, to replace God’s Power Tower.
The match changed in the 75th minute when Nigeria were awarded a penalty after Senegal’s Ousseynou Thioune, who was sent off, handled the ball as he collided with his goalkeeper, Pape Ndiaye.
Etebo stepped up to do what Keita was unable to do earlier and net an emphatic effort that Ndiaye had little chance of saving.
The 10 men of Senegal pushed for the equaliser that would have taken the game to penalties but even with five minutes of injury time, they were unable to breakdown the stubborn Nigerian defence.