Lagos - The Nigeria U-23 squad will on Monday begin its
final preparations for the men’s football tournament of this year’s Olympics,
when the delegation departs Nigeria for the Suwon Invitational Tournament.
Led by Samson Siasia, who also steered Nigeria’s last squad
at the men’s football tournament of the Olympics (Beijing 2008) to runner –up
spot, the African champions have self –belief they are good enough for gold in
Rio de Janeiro in August.
“Not many people gave us a chance going to the African
finals in Senegal. We love it that way because so much focus is on the other
teams and we are able to concentrate on devising our own strategies.
“The last time I took the U-23 to the Olympics, we won silver.
This time, we will aim for gold,” said Siasia.
According to a Sportdaylive report, Siasia has picked captain Azubuike Okechukwu, goalkeeper
Emmanuel Daniel, defenders Stanley Amuzie and Segun Oduduwa, midfielders Usman
Mohammed and Stanley Dimgba, forwards Taiwo Awoniyi and Saviour Godwin and 12
others for the invitational tournament. The list is made up of 12 home –based
and eight overseas –based professionals.
After the tournament in Korea, the team will train in
Manchester, United Kingdom before heading to Atlanta, United States of America,
from where it will travel to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics.
Atlanta, USA was the setting for Nigeria’s triumph at the
men’s football tournament of the Olympics in 1996 – a first for an African
Also read: Olympics: Siasia lays down Wednesday deadline
Nigeria will play in Group B of the tournament against
Sweden, Colombia and Japan. Hosts Brazil, who lost 0-1 to Nigeria in a friendly
in Brazil two months ago, head Group A which also has South Africa, Iraq and
Denmark. Germany, Mexico, Korea Republic and Fiji make up Group C while
Argentina, Honduras, Algeria and Portugal are in Group D.
20 PLAYERS FOR SUWON TOURNAMENT
Emmanuel Daniel, Yusuf Mohammed, Emmanson Daniel, Sincere
Seth, Ndifreke Effiong, Segun Oduduwa, Stanley Amuzie, Julius Emiloju, Erhun
Obanor, Saturday Erimuya, Azubuike Okechukwu, Usman Mohammed, Stanley Dimgba,
Sodiq Popoola, Saviour Godwin, Taiwo Awoniyi, Ubong Ekpai, Abdulrahman Taiwo,
Nathan Oduwa, Tiongoli Tonbara
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