Samson Siasia has described the performance of the Nigerian Olympic men’s football team in reaching the semi-finals at Rio 2016 as a great feat, saying his boys defeated “a very good Danish team.”
Siasia said at the post-match conference: “I just want to give thanks to God, and also these players who did a great job. Yesterday (Friday), we were actually worried about our defence, but they came out and played very, very well against a good Danish team.
“I think these guys have to be applauded coming out like that, and getting those two goals. It wasn’t an easy game but I am happy we are in the semi-finals.”
On the possibility of the African champions playing hosts Brazil in the final match, Siasia said: “We saw what the Brazilians did to the Danish team (4-0); they are a very good side. They didn’t start well but the most important thing is how well you end. It’s not easy scoring four goals against this Danish team.
“However, I don’t want to worry about Brazil right now. I have the semi-final against Germany to think about and that is the only thing in my mind right now. After crossing the Germany hurdle, we will think of our opponents for the gold medal match. We have gone through a lot on this journey and we cannot get to the gold medal match and then freeze.”
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Captain Mikel Obi, who scored Nigeria’s first against the Danes, said he was not surprised that the team has been able to come this far, given the quality of playing and coaching personnel. “We are all very excited reaching the semi-finals but the ultimate is the gold medal and as the coach has said, we are still taking it one match at a time. My objective here, as with each of the other players, is to win the gold medal.”
The Nigeria delegation flew back to São Paulo on Sunday.