17 August 2016
Nigeria’s U-23 Olympic men football team will face Germany on Wednesday in the hope to make it to their third Olympic men football final.
The Germans qualified from Group C as runner-up behind Korea Republic while Nigeria qualified as the winner of Group B ahead of Colombia against which they recorded their only loss in the tournament.
In the quarterfinal, the Germans, nicknamed Nationalelf (national eleven) whitewashed fellow European Portugal by 4 – 0.
Having scored 11 goals in the group stage, 10 of which came against Fiji in their last group match, Germany remain the highest-scoring team in the tournament with a total of 15 goals.
The Dream Team VI on the other hand defeated Denmark 2 – 0 in the quarterfinal to set up a semifinal clash with the Germans.
So far in the tournament, Nigeria has scored 8 goals and has conceded 6 goals.
Five of Nigeria’s goals scored came in the 5 – 4 win over Japan where Ogenekaro Etebo scored 4 goals making him Nigeria’s leading goal scorer with a total of 4 goals.
Rio 2016 is Germany’s 8th appearance at the men’s Olympics Football tournament, but their best performance came 28 years ago at Seoul 1988 when they won Bronze.
Nigeria has a better history in the Olympic men’s football tournament compared to the Germans as they’ve made 6 appearances already winning one goal and one silver.
Nigeria won gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and a silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
In Nigeria’s previous five appearances in the men’s Olympic football competition, Nigeria has never lost a semifinal match.
The first time Nigeria made it to the semifinals was in Atlanta 1996 where they defeated Brazil 4 – 3 in a thrilling encounter that saw the team offset a two goal deficit.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Nigeria defeated Belgium 4 – 1 to progress to the semifinals where they lost to Argentina by a lone goal.
The team that represented Argentina at the Beijing Olympics paraded the likes of five-times Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, and Angel Di Maria.
Wednesday’s match promises to be an interesting encounter.
KICK OFF TIME: 8 p.m. Nigerian time
Brazil vs Honduras 5PM
Nigeria vs Germany 8PM
Author: Timilehin Boyinde
Oluwatimilehin Boyinde is a research writer and a social media strategist. A public affairs analyst, he writes about history, politics, sports, life matters and technology. He is passionate about happenings in Local and international political arenas. He is an avid Manchester United fan and an unapologetic Nigerian.