Nigeria’s U-23 team will face a test of intention from Sweden this evening in their Olympic group B tie tonight, after their exhilarating 5-4 win over Japan with barely four hours to match day in Brazil.
Coach Samson Siasia described the win as a wonder following the rough ride to venue of the game at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus. But the match against Sweden will be a different ball game. The Swedes who played a 2-2 all draw with Colombia will be aiming to out-gun the Nigerian team who were given an outside chance to beat Japan, but they now have the bragging rights in the group.
“I hope my team sustains this great form from the match against Japan and even step up a gear in our subsequent matches,” Siasia said.
He stated that his team will tidy up at the backline, which let in four goals after the Olympic Eagles appeared to have sealed up the game.
“It was because the team was tired and they lost focus. That was why we conceded four goals,”
The defence featuring William Troost-Ekong, Sincere Seth and Stanley Amuzie were out of their depth against Japan. Amuzie, gave away a penalty, that aided the Japanese fight back. However, after training on Friday the players showed some promise. But how they cope with the Swedes who made Colombia sweat for their equaliser remains to be seen. Their strikers Mikael Ishak and Astrit Ajdarevic were on target in the 2-2 opening day draw with Colombia.
But Nigerians can expect another fluid movements from strikers Oghenkaro Etebo and Roma youngster Sadiq Umar. The Roma player made a bright start to his foray with the team with a goal and also provided an assist and won a penalty. With captain John Obi Mikel providing stability in the middle, the Eagles can produce another top class performance.