Translated from Dutch NOS TV:
The soap opera surrounding the Olympic football team of Nigeria ultimately did not break the team. Although the plane with the Nigerians landed only six hours before kickoff in Manaus they won the first Olympic match there, 5 goals against 4.
This means maybe only four hours or less sleep or other rest for the Nigerian footballers.
Japan was the opponent in the hot and humid city in the Amazon.
Last week, there was a threat that the Nigerian selection would not reach Brazil in time. First there were problems with the payment of the plane tickets, then the flight was canceled because the plane was supposedly too small, then the team for a few days was unable to proceed beyond the airport in Atlanta in the USA.
After eight hours of flying, the team finally arrived in host city Manaus, where Japan was the first opponent of the 1996 Olympic champions (in Atlanta!). The game had an exciting first fifteen minutes with four goals: 2-2. Shortly before the break, Nigeria thanks to Oghenekaro Etebo for the third time went ahead.
The 20-year-old midfielder from Portuguese club Feirense, who had scored 2-1 as well, scored two more goals after the break. Japan came back to 4-5, but the tying goal was too late (five minutes into extra time) in order to make for a serious hunt for a draw.
See also here.
One should hope the Nigerian footballers will now get some well deserved good nights’ sleep. To be able to show what they are capable of, not only in bad circumstances, but in good circumstances as well.