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Unuanel wants fans to be patient with Nigeria U23 team

04 December 2015, 13:06

Lagos - Highly-rated coach, Samson Unuanel has urged fans to be patient as the Nigeria U23 side seeks to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The Samson Siasia tutored team had another display of deja vu Wednesday in M’bour, Senegal when they threw away a two-goal lead in the first half, only to allow Egypt claw back into the game in the second half to cancel the lead. The game ended 2-2.

Although Egypt comeback was helped by Nigeria's miserable defence line, the Egyptians deserved the draw, as they harassed the Nigerians for most of the second half.

Nigeria, who were leading with two goals before the half time through a brace from Etebo Oghenekaro's spot kicks goals in the 20th and 30th minutes, failed to defend this lead as they gave the Egyptians the golden opportunities to score two quick goals in the second half.

The Nigerians had collapsed in the second half as well in their first game against Mali on Sunday, allowing Mali to clip the 3-0 lead to end the tie 3-2.

Also read: Dream Team confident they will beat Algeria

Despite the lapses in concentration by Siasia's team, Unuanel has urged the Nigerians not to lose faith in the team.

According to the former Niger Tornadoes coach, it is too early to judge the young players because they still have a lot to learn and the future looks bright.

“We need to give them time, it is too early to judge them. The team still have a long way to go in this tournament. They will achieve better results and gain experience,” said the ex-Enyimba and Kwara United coach in a chat with News24.

“The fans didn't really like the way things went in the game against Egypt, but we must also understand that this is the game of football, it's a funny game. The boys won't disappoint in subsequent matches.

He added, “We know the players can make the difference, so we just need to give them the chance to prove themselves in the final group match against Algeria, assist them such that they can get the spirit of topping the group and going on to pick a ticket to play in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.”

Siasia and his boys have to beat Algeria in their last game to guarantee their qualification to the next stage of the Nations Cup which serves as African qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The Algerians defeated Mali 2-0 in the second match of Group B on Wednesday. Nigeria are tied with four points with Algeria, while Egypt are with two points with Mali no point in two matches.

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- News24


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