By James Agberebi :
Former Nigeria international, Garba Lawal, has played down Nigeria U-23s 2-0 loss to Colombia in their last Group B game on Wednesday in Sao Paulo,Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Having already qualified for the quarter-finals, the U-23 Eagles coach, Samson Siasia made five changes for the game.
Goals from captain Teofilo Gutierrez and Dorlan Pabon, secured the three points and a passage into the quarter-finals for Colombia.
"Losing an inconsequential game depends on the mindset of the team," the Atlanta 1996 Olympic gold medallist told Completesportsnigeria.com
"It depends on the concentration and focus of the team right from their first game. Nobody wants to lose a game in a tournament whether you've qualified for the knockout stage or not.
"I remember the last group game we lost against Brazil in Atlanta 1996, and we still went on to win the gold," Lawal said.
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Speaking ahead of the team's quarter-final clash against Denmark, Lawal, who played against the Danes in France 1998 World Cup, urged them to be focus and warned against profligacy in front of goal.
"Now they are in the quarter-finals, and will face Denmark. They need to be focused. The Danish team are technically and tactically sound."
"In the game against Sweden which we won 1-0, we almost drew the game. They had a very good chance because we lost concentration at the last minute which is not good. We were just very lucky because one of our defenders blocked the ball.
"They need to take their chances because once you get to this stage, every chance count because you never know what will happen."
He added: "I wish the team all the best and hope they will emerge victorious."Jiji.ng the cheapest online shopping in Nigeria