Football at the Rio 2016 Olympics has taken somewhat of a surprising position so far, with all the “strange results” and “large amount of goals being scored.”
Maybe this is just signs of things to come when the other sports begin: upsets, surprises and the “weird results.” Maybe.
Nigeria and Japan played out a nine-goal thriller, the most goals any football game has had at the Olympics this year.
It was a result that had most thinking of the events that happened before the game other than looking forward to the remaining games. I did too, imagining what effects the pre-match events would have on Nigeria’s Dream Team.
But, for the sake of this article, I’ve chosen to look at things from a slightly different angle: An eye on the past, one on the future and both on the present.
I stumbled upon this piece yesterday:
OLYMPICS: FRAZZLED NIGERIA FINALLY JET OUT TO MANAUS
The Dream Team finally departed for Manaus from their Atlanta training base after multiple delays that threatened their arrival in Brazil.
The delay means the Dream Team will arrive in Brazil with barely four hours until they kick-off their campaign against Asian U-23 champions Japan as they hope to emulate the Kanu Nwankwo-led side that won gold at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.
Long, short: The Dream Team were stuck in Atlanta and only left hours to kick-off. Of course the government’s to blame. I dunno the full story so i won’t dive in head-on.
But, if the boys failed to get to Brazil days before their game, whose fault? I’d rather fault a Sports Minister who claimed to not know the whereabouts of the team than chose any other culprit.
I almost forgot: Since the match has been played (past tense), it’s safe to mention that Nigeria beat Japan by 5 goals to 4, as part of what happened yeah?
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Depends on where you’re viewing things from if you ask me. I’ll share my view point with you and let you share yours with me in the comments section when you’re done reading.
– Nigerian Football Performs Better When the Odds Are Stacked Against It:
This statement has never been truer than now! (And you know this… especially if you’re a Nigerian!).
It’s just like how Kanu and Nigeria beat their way past Brazil to the Olympic gold in 1996. It’s how Keshi “barged” his way to the AFCON 2013 title, DESPITE ALL ODDS.
It’s how Nigerian football is wired. It only shows up when people think nothing of it; when people think the least of it… especially when that thinking is being done by Nigerians! It’s THE ONLY WAY KNOWN TO NIGERIAN FOOTBALL.
Of course my theory is arguable. But, with the kind of result that helped Nigeria gain their first three points in Rio, despite conceding four goals, that theory only seems to be even more correct. Despite all they went through (I’m not even going to start a recount), they still got a win.
– Siasia Is Nigerian Football’s Olympic Gold:
In Beijing 2008, Siasia came one match short of the Olympic Gold, losing to Di Maria and co. But it was obvious: This man knows how to pick an Olympic Football Team and… make it win games. He seems to know how to manuever his way when those five rings appear anywhere near a football field.
And with the way the Dream Team played out the first half, the team is in safe hands. Sanson is the man for this job. If anyone can win the gold and relive the glory of Atlanta ’96 (so much has been linked back to this Olympic year), especially in the Football category, Samson Siasia can do it. He can lead these lads to Olympic glory.
– WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
* Nigeria’s Dream Team will qualify out of their group. With the first three points gotten against Japan, they have foot already in the knock out phase.
* Etebo will end up scoring more goals. Even though it may get harder, now that he’s announced his name to the world with those four goals. But it won’t matter.
* Siasia will try to address the issue of conceding a bucket-load of goals. He will try to also address the part of conceding only seconds after his team has scored a goal.
* Another Olympic final appearance beckons to the Dream Team. And I think they’ll make it through.
Rotimi Daramola is a freelance football writer, football analyst and football content creator that is in love with the beautiful game. You can keep up with all of his writing and also engage with him on Twitter @rotdav and on LinkedIn