Saturday, 6 August 2016

Beating Japan 5-4 Was Miracle Of Manaus – Siasia

Coach Samson Siasia, Nigeria's Olympic football team coach has described his side’s breathtaking 5-4 victory over Japan in their Rio 2016 Olympic Games opener in Manaus as a miracle.

Nigeria U-23 side put up a spirited performance on Thursday (Friday in Nigeria), as they overpowered a well-relaxed Japanese side in a nine-goal thriller to climb to top of Group B after Sweden and Colombia played out a 2-2 draw.

Oghenekaro Etebo netted four goals with AS Roma’s Sadiq Umar grabbing the opener as the latecomers cruised past their Asian opponents.

Siasia describing their triumph as a miracle, said: “I just can’t describe what happened today. My boys defied science to win this game; what gave us this game was the mental toughness of the boys. For a team not to train for two days and put up this type of performance is a miracle."

“When players are tired they tend to lose focus. That is why we conceded four goals. For now, all I can say is I just want to go and savour this victory with my players.”

He said, “We just won a game, we can’t and won’t allow this victory get into our heads. Our target here is to win the gold and this is just the first step of us achieving that aim. No two games are the same, for me this hurdle is over, when I wake up tomorrow I will then think of my next game.

“The team (Japan) we defeated are a good side; I respect them for pushing my boys to the limit. I knew that towards the end of the game my boys were tired and barely managed to hang on. I will not blame any one of them for the goals we conceded. We have put this match behind us. I hope my team sustain this great form and even step up a gear in our subsequent matches.”

Four-goal hero Oghenekaro Etebo has dedicated his goals to God after an amazing performance from the Feirense man. But he insists they still have to up better performances against their next group opponents Sweden, who they play on Sunday, and Colombia.

“I just want to thank God for the goals but we still have to play two games to qualify, so it’s not over yet,” the former Warri Wolves forward said.

Former captain of the team Okechukwu Azubuike said they will now have to work on their defensive lapses after conceding four goals against the Asians.

“We lost concentration and we paid for it; we gave away goals. So, we need to work on that.”

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