Nigeria’s Dream Team coach, Samson Siasia, has blamed poor marksmanship for the 0-2 loss his wards suffered at the hands of Colombia in the early hours of Thursday in their last group game.
The result however, did not stop the African champions from finishing first in group B of the Rio Olympics having finished with six points, one ahead of Colombia, which also qualified for the quarter-final with five points.
Siasia while speaking during the post-match conference at the Corinthians Arena, Sao Paulo, declared that the loss was a warning signal to the Dream Team to be up and doing in subsequent matches to achieve the desired result, just as he said having a new team in every game too always go with its own challenge.
“Of course when you make too many changes, it won’t work the way you expected. Going into the knockout stage, that’s a different ball game. If you lose, you go home, so all those mistakes we have been making mostly in the backline have to be corrected. We didn’t do a good job on the Colombian forwards. We really have to work harder on our defending,” the former international said.
The former Super Eagles coach, said his men were unable to maximise their scoring opportunities as well which cost them victory.
“In the first half, we had a couple of good chances and (Oghenekaro) Etebo had a very good one that he should have scored. But one good thing about him is that he always put himself in good positions. He didn’t score today; that’s football. Hopefully, in the next game, we can convert our chances and defend better.
“Colombia has always been a good team in spite of the challenges they faced before coming to the Olympics. All the teams at this tournament are good; you just have to take your chances when you have them. The Colombians took their chances against us and are now in the quarter-finals,” said the man who coached the Dream Team to win the silver at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
Also in his remarks, Captain John Mikel Obi, said the Dream Team did everything humanly possible to avoid defeat at the hands of the South Americans but to no avail.
“That’s football. We are professionals and could not have under–rated the Colombians. We will work harder ahead of our next game,” Mikel said.
Siasia, however, said he will wait for the verdict of the medical crew to know the extent of Etebo’s injury.
The reigning AFCON U-23 champions will tomorrow face Denmark in a quarter-final match at the Fonte Nova Arena, Salvador.
Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), coach Bitrus Bewarang has since arrived in Brazil to join the Dream Team ahead of the clash.
Meanwhile, goals from Teofilo Gutierrez and Dorlan Pabon gave the Los Cafeteros victory over the Dream Team which won the Atlanta ‘96 gold.