Rio 2016 Olympics: Dream Team Shines to Save Nigeria
The Rio 2016 Olympics is come and gone with its ups and down, glitz and glamour but for Nigeria it was a tale of missed opportunities, inconsistent displays and not many believed Nigeria would have anything to celebrate. Yet the football team gave Nigerians something to cheer about not withstanding the various hiccups that marred their preparation and participation, they showed glimpses of what the whole Nigerian contingent could have done in a more organized environment.
By Adebowale Olusa
Despite arriving about 6hours to kick off, they showed grit and determination to overcome a very stern test of endurance against Japan, defeating the Asians 5 – 4 in a very pulsating first match. This victory was followed up with a 1 – 0 defeat of Sweden. Then came a loss to Columbia which many agree was a training match for the Dream Team given that that had already qualified for the Quarter finals of the Men’s football event.
The Dream Team followed up with an impressive 2-0 win over Scandinavian giants Denmark in the quarterfinals before falling to the more organized German Team 2 -0 in the Semi Finals. The Dream Team VI then defeated Honduras 3-2 to win the Rio 2016 men’s Olympics football at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte. With this victory, Dream Team VI secured their first Olympic medal since Beijing 2008.
Speaking after the game, Siasia said, “I want to say thanks to the players. They did a great job. It is good to take something back home. Winning bronze is not easy. We are happy and we have to celebrate. We have to enjoy this moment.”
Team captain Mikel expressed how proud he was of the team’s achievement and poured encomiums on Siasia for making the bronze medal possible. “We have an amazing coach. He’s always been there for the boys.”
The victory thus saved the country the ignominy of leaving the Rio Olympics without any medal and ensured that that a repeat of the dismal showing at the London 2012 Olympics, where Nigeria finished without a medal, was averted.
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