With Nigeria already qualified for the quarter finals of the Men’s Football Tournament of the ongoing Olympic Games in Brazil, Coach Samson Siasia has promised to rest some of his starters in the last Group B game with Colombia in Sao Paolo today.
“I had to take this decision (to rest some of the big players) because we have qualified for the quarter finals as group leaders, and secondly I need to rest some of the starters because in the next phase there is a possibility of going into extra time.
“For now the boys have done well and I need to make the other players justify why I selected them for this tournament. This is not a tea party so everyone must stand up to be counted, and the only way they can be counted is if they play well against Colombia.
Resting some starters does not mean we are under-rating the opposition,” stressed Siasia who is aiming to improve on the silver he won in Beijing, China in 2008.
He disclosed that the technical crew was working hard on the defence line, as the knock-out stages will see stingy defence-lines complemented by vicious attacking lines.
The Dream Team VI qualified for the tournament’s quarter-finals after edging Asian champions Japan 5-4 and pipping Europe’s best Sweden 1-0 in the dry atmosphere of Manaus.
Colombia, who drew 2-2 with Sweden and also with Japan, knows they have no choice but to win against Nigeria to reach the last eight.
However, Siasia has refused to be distracted beyond the match in Sao Paulo, saying he would finish with the Colombians before thinking of which team his side would have to face in the quarter –finals.
Hosts Brazil, without a goal or a win after two matches, looks the likely candidate but they must overcome Group A leaders Denmark when both teams clash inside Salvador’s Arena Fonte Nova this evening.
Dangling forward, Sadiq Umar, scored once and midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo four times as Nigeria prised all three points from Japan, and Umar was the match winner as European champions Sweden were shut out in Manaus on Sunday.
Denmark v Brazil (Salvador, 22:00)
South Africa v Iraq (São Paulo, 22:00)
Colombia v Nigeria (São Paulo, 23:00pm)
Japan v Sweden (Salvador, 23:00pm)
Germany v Fiji (Belo Horizonte, 20:00)
Korea Rep v Mexico (Brasília, 20:00)
Algeria v Portugal (Belo Horizonte, 17:00)
Argentina v Honduras (Brasília, 17:00)
Nigeria to Dorn All-white Jerseys
Nigeria’s Dream Team will for the first time in the tournament, dorn white jerseys in the game against Colombia this evening.
According to team officials, the players have already been handed two pairs of white jerseys each, as has been the practice since the commencement of the tournament.
“Each player is given two pairs of jerseys for each game, so that he can put on a fresh one when coming out for the second half in each game,” revealed the official.