By James Agberebi:
Former Nigeria international Joseph Dosu has described the U-23 Eagles' group at the men's football event of this year's Olympic Games as favourable.
The Nigerian U-23s were on Thursday drawn in Group B with Japan, Colombia and Sweden.
Reacting to the draw, the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games gold medallist told Completesportsnigeria.com that the current U-23 Eagles players can go far in Rio provided they get adequate preparation.
"On paper I will say it is a good draw," the former Super Eagles goalkeeper told Completesportsnigeria.com. "But everything will be judged on the pitch because the other teams played a lot of games before qualifying for the Olympics.
"It looks like a good draw for us but preparation towards the competition is what is important.
"The boys are in camp, the coaches are sweating with the players. It's all about hard work, determination and dedication to achieve and repeat what we did in 1996.
"I believe we have the players who can do it for us, all the team need is proper preparation and support."
Dosu advised that the Nigerian team should try and secure a win in their opening game.
He added: "How you play your first game is important. If you win your first game, you have already put yourself in an advantage. But if you lose or draw your first game, you are fighting from behind which I hope we will not do.
"They should make sure they win the first and second games in order to qualify for the quarter-finals easily instead of struggling to qualify."