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Mikel and Nigeria fall at second-to-last hurdle, eliminated from gold medal contention at Rio Olympics

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No repeat of May 19th miracle for Mikel. Sadsies.

Mikel caught in a Bender sandwich
Mikel caught in a Bender sandwich
Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

Mikel John Obi's Olympic dream died at the offside feet of Nils Petersen, whose sixth goal of the tournament, allowed to stand thanks to a no-call, sealed Germany's 2-0 win in the semifinal over Nigeria's "Dream Team VI".

The Germans started the much better side, grabbing an early lead through an unlikely source in full back Lukas Klostermann.  With a solid midfield of the Bender twins and the pair of Ginter and Sule at center back, they never quite looked like conceding from there, though many of Nigeria's attacks petered out thanks to inaccurate and sloppy passing rather than anything amazing from the Germans.

Mikel tried to make up the gap in individual quality by himself, and while he came close to scoring in either half, he was unable to will his teammates to victory.

Nigeria can still come away with medals, though only of the bronze variety.  They will face Honduras, who looked particularly terrible in their semifinal loss, in Saturday's third place game.  The final will follow afterwards, with a rematch of the 7-1 between Brazil and Germany.

While Mikel can only collect a bronze, one Chelsea player will get to go for the gold:  Chelsea Ladies goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl, who one-upped her own heroics in the quarterfinal by keeping a clean sheet against Brazil in the semifinal yesterday, then stopping two attempts in the subsequent shootout.  Lindahl and Sweden take on Germany in Friday's final.