Nigeria’s Dream Team will begin its campaign in the Rio 2016 Olympics against the Samurai Blue of Japan on Friday (tomorrow) at 2am, in a group B game scheduled to hold in Manaus.
Nigeria won the Olympics soccer gold at Atlanta ‘96, the first time by an African country, before Cameroon equalled the feat at Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Former Flying Eagles coach, Ladan Bosso, believes the Samson Siasia-coached side has what it takes to shine in Brazil, in spite of poor preparations.
“There have been a lot of problems with our preparations for the Olympics, but I have confidence in (under-23 head coach, Samson) Siasia and I believe he can manage the players to achieve the desired results.
“They must have a very positive mindset towards their first match against Japan.
“At the preliminary stages of such competitions, it is important to win that first match.
“The minimum target should be four points from three group games, but the third match is just as important as the first two,” the Elkanemi Warriors coach told supersport.com.
Nigeria will face Japan, Colombia and Sweden in the preliminary round of the competition and Bosso expects the Dream Team to do well amidst criticism over an underwhelming build-up.
“There is something I love to refer to as the ‘Nigerian character’ and that is what I believe will see us do well in Brazil.
“Anytime we have the best of preparations for major tournaments, we do not do well but when the reverse is the case, we perform excellently.
“This team will surprise Nigerians; I am very sure about that.
“Let us not also forget that this is not the first time Siasia is coaching at the Olympics, so he knows what to expect.
“He will bring out the best in our players,” the man who coached Nigeria to the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup said.
Siasia, it will be recalled, coached Nigeria to win the silver medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.