Siasia: Nigeria Didn’t Deserve to Play in the Final


Duro Ikhazuagbe
Nigeria’s Under-23 team Coach, Samson Siasia was filled with bile on Wednesday night shortly after the team failed to reach the final of the Rio2016 Olympic Games’ men’s football final with the 2-0 defeat it suffered against Germany at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paolo. He was emphatic that Nigeria didn’t deserve to be in the final considering how his wards fared against the Germans.

“We (Nigeria) didn’t deserve to play in the final with the way my boys played against Germany. You don’t play like that and expect miracle to move you into the final,” stressed a very angry Siasia at the post match on Wednesday night.

He was piqued by the sloppy manner majority of the Nigerian Under-23 players prosecuted the match. “Were they expected me to join the field and help them to play? I did my part before the match and told them what to do against the German but instead played as if the game didn’t mean anything to them.

Siasia who was looking forward to improve on the silver he won at Beijing 2008, picked Stanley Amuzie as the worst culprit of the evening with the manner he kicked the dead ball that would have brought back the Dream Team back to reckoning midway into the second half.

“He is the best in taking such responsibility and that was why the lot fell on him to execute the free kick. If only he had converted it, perhaps, the story would have been different,” concludes the ex international who had hoped to boost his coaching career with another Olympic medal.

Is Siasia looking forward to the third-place game? “After winning the silver for Nigeria in Beijing my next target is to step up to the gold and not the bronze. I feel disappointed.”
Captain of the Nigerian Olympic team, John Mikel Obi, shared the sentiments of his coach on the team not deserving to play at the final.
“We didn’t play well. We don’t deserve to be in the final,” he said in support of Siasia’s position.

However, the Chelsea FC stalwart who missed the silver medal in Beijing because he refused to join the team during their pre-tournament preparation is looking forward to returning to England with the consolatory bronze medal in the clash with Honduras in Belo Horizonte this evening.

“We are professional players and hopefully we can win a medal,” concludes Mikel with enthusiasm
The Americans lost 7-1 scandalously to host Brazil at the Maracana Stadium in Rio on Wednesday afternoon.
Lukas Klostermann scored an early goal and Nils Petersen added a late second as Germany secured their place in the men’s football final.

The Germans will face hosts Brazil at the Maracana Stadium on Saturday. The match will bring back still-raw memories for the hosts of the 7-1 semifinal victory for Germany over them in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Germany are now just one step away from becoming world and Olympic champions, a feat which has not been achieved since 1936 when Italy (1934 FIFA World Cup winners) claimed the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Berlin.

Nigeria went into the semifinal having finished top of group B and beaten Denmark 2-0 in quarterfinal.
But it took Germany just nine minutes to find the net as Maximilian Meyer linked up well with defender Klostermann who slotted home.
Nigeria could have equalised three minutes later through Sadiq Umar but German goalkeeper Timo Horn recovered from his own mistake to save Sadiq’s shot.

Dream Team’s attempts to get back in the game were thwarted by wayward shooting from Sadiq and Amuzie, with only two shots on target from 12 attempts, and a strong German back-line.
Despite late pressure, Siasia’s wards could not break through their stubborn opponents and Germany sealed the win with Petersen’s 88th-minute goal.