Regardless of talks that his team has been far from convincing at the ongoing Africa U-23 Championship, the Head Coach of the Nigeria U-23 team, Samson Siasia said he is very elated at moving closer to qualifying for the football event of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Speaking after Saturday’s barren outing against the Algeria U-23 team, Coach Siasia admitted that he would have preferred wining the the final group game in order to finish tops in Group B and avoid playing hosts Senegal in the semi final but nevertheless he remains happy to still be in contention at the tournament.
“I congratulate my team for not conceding and qualifying for the semi-finals. The most important was to qualify and we have achieved it”. Siasia began.
He continued: “We wish we could garner the three points but I’m happy with qualifying and getting closer to Rio de Janeiro”.
“I would have preferred to play Senegal in the final but I have to do at the semis. It will be a great match because they will have the public behind them and we have to play and win”.
Interestingly, Siasia still has fond memories of his exploits as a player during the Africa Cup of Nations in 1992 played in Senegal and the Coach said he is hopeful his players will help re-enact the joyful memories he had at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium over two decades ago.
“At the Africa Cup of Nations in 1992, I scored here (Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium), and this is why most Senegalese remember me. I will be around my players to repeat it next Wednesday”. The Nigeria Coach stated.
Now in the semi final, the Dream Team VI need just one more win to secure one of the three automatic tickets available for Africa to be at next year’s Rio Olympics men’s football event.