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Rio Olympics: How Nigeria’s Dream Team VI fared against Japan


Nigeria U-23 team in the early hours of Friday, August 5 overcame the odds of travel delays to beat Japan 5-4 in their first Group B game of Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Sadiq Umar opened scoring before Oghenekaro Etebo netted a quadruple to help Nigeria grab all the three points against Japan.

Samson Siasia

Samson Siasia

This how Pulse Sports rate the performance of Dream Team VI players.

Emmanuel Daniel (goalkeeper) 4/10

Shinzo Koroki and Emmanuel Daniel

Emmanuel Daniel conceded four goals against Japan

Conceding four goals in a game is never good for any goalkeeper. With a poor defense, letting in four goals can be excusable but Daniel was poor in this game. He seems very short of confidence and could not organize the defense in front of them.

Stanley Amuzie (Left-Back) 6/10

Stanley Amuzie

Amuzie was impressive for Nigeria

Apart from the penalty in conceded which led to Japan’s opening goal, Amuzie was fantastic in the game. He joined attack a couple of times and was rewarded with an assist.

William Troost-Ekong (center-back) 5/10

William Troost-Ekong

Troos-Ekong struggled earlier but came back stronger in the second half

The long travel seems to have had an effect on Troost-Ekong who looked shaky especially in the second half.

He however did a good job of dealing with some situations alone with his partner, Seth Muenfuah lost most of the times.

Seth Muenfuh (Centre-back) 4/10

Seth Muenfuh

Seth Muenfuh got lost in the game

Poor performance from the right back who deputized a center-back. He was lost most of them games and left his partner, Troost-Ekong alone.

He redeemed himself with a better showing in the second half.

Shehu Abdullahi (right-back) 5/10

Shehu Abdullahi

Shehu Abdullah didn’t offer much going forward

Abdullahi was strong in tackles all through the game but didn’t offer much going forward. He hugely responsible for one of the goals conceded also.

Azubuike Okechukwu (midfielder) 6/10

Azubuike Okechukwu and Shoya Nakajima

Azubuike Okechukwu and Shoya Nakajima

The best player in the Dream Team’s midfielder, worked very hard and combined well with teammates in the middle.

Covered lots of distance too in the game.

John Mikel Obi (midfielder) 5/10

John Mikel Obi

John Mikel Obi showed great leadership as captain during the game

An average game. Too careful and was not hugely involved in the tick of the game. He however steadied play at times and showed great leadership as captain.

Usmam Mohammed (midfielder) 6/10

Ran with the ball a lot from midfield to attack and troubled the Japanese defence several times.

Imoh Ezekiel (forward) 7/10

Imoh Ezekiel

Imoh Ezekiel

Ezekiel was impressive for the Nigeria’s U-23 team in the win. Was a live wire in Dream Team VI’s attack and had a shot spilled by the Japanese goalkeeper which led to Nigeria’s first goal.

Oghenekaro Etebo (forward) 10/10

Oghenekaro Etebo

Oghenekaro Etebo scored four goals on the night for Nigeria

What else can you do in a game after scoring four goals? Easily the Man of the Match, was always in the right places at the right time to slot in the goals.

Sadiq Umar (forward) 8/10

Sadiq Umar

Sadiq Umar

Umar was impressive all through the game and opened scoring for Nigeria also. He was a constant threat for Nigeria.


Kingsley Madu (left-back) 2/10

Was brought in to help the team defensively but failed at it as Nigeria let in two later.

Ndifreke Udo (defender) 2/10

Was also brought in to shore up the defense but did nothing in the game.

Saliu Popoola (midfielder) 3/10

Was very impressive after coming in for Mikel Obi. Saw much of the ball and chased oppositions a lot.


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About the author

Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field