Delta regional jet CC Eric Salard

The Nigerian men’s soccer team was dangerously close to missing their first chance at competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics, but thankfully, they had luck – and a good airline – on their side.

The team has been training for the big match in Atlanta, Georgia for months, yet because of the lack of travel in their home nation, the players arrived at the airport assuming they would be able to buy their tickets on the day of the flight.

That’s when they were told that all the flights to Brazil were fully booked.

Efforts to book a charter flight failed because the team of over 30 officials and players was too many people for any plane.

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Delta Airline officials started scrambling to find a solution for the displaced team in time for their match on Thursday evening.

Finally, on Wednesday, airline workers discovered an NBA charter plane that was free to take the entire squad without having to bump passengers. Arriving just hours before their game against Japan, the Nigerian team was given the flight free of charge with a return trip home included.

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