Nigeria under-23 head coach, Samson Siasia, is keen to correct the frailties exhibited by his side in their 0-2 loss to Colombia on Wednesday in the Olympics ahead of their quarterfinal meet with Denmark.
Siasia expressed worry at the way his team’s backline buckled under the attack of the Colombians leading up to the two goals conceded, he attributed their defeat to the changes he made in the startlist as opposed to their opening two matches against Japan and Sweden which they won 5-4 and 1-0 respectively.
After watching his side concede six goals in the preliminary stage of the men’s football event at the Olympics in Brazil, Siasia does not want any margin for error in the knockout stage against the Danes, who, on the other hand, have managed to score just once and shipped in four goals, which were all in their 0-4 loss to Brazil on Wednesday.
He also took time to talk about Nigeria’s failure to score for the first time in the tournament.
“Of course when you make too many changes, it won’t work the way you expected. Going into the knockout stage, that’s a different ball game. If you lose, you go home, so all those mistakes we have been making mostly in the backline have to be corrected. We didn’t do a good job on the Colombian forwards. We really have to work harder on our defending.
“In the first half, we had a couple of good chances and Etebo had a very good one that he should have scored. But one good thing about him is that he always put himself in good positions. He didn’t score today; that’s football. Hopefully, in the next game, we can convert our chances and defend better,” said Siasia at the post-match conference at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo.
The Nigeria trainer then reserved sweet words for the South Americans, adding that they “took their chances against us.”
“Colombia has always been a good team, in spite of the challenges they faced before coming to the Olympics. All the teams at this tournament are good; you just have to take your chances when you have them. The Colombians took their chances against us and are now in the quarterfinals,” he said.
Nigeria’s under-23s have now left Sao Paulo for Salvador, where they will go up against Denmark in Saturday’s quarterfinal match at the Fonte Nova Arena.