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Brazil will vent anger on Eagles, says Garba Lawal

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Super Eagles’ players and officials in prayer before a match. Garba Lawal says they must play together as team to overcome Brazil in Singapore tomorrow

Former Super Eagles midfielder, Garba Lawal says the team might find it difficult to contain Brazil in tomorrow’s international friendly match in Singapore.

The match billed for the National Stadium in Kallang is coming 16 years after Nigeria lost 0-3 to the Samba Boys in Abuja. That was in 2003.

Before then, Nigeria’s U-23 team had humiliated Brazil by coming from 1-3 down to win 4-3 in the semifinal at Atlanta ’96 Olympics Games. The defeat still hurts the South American side till date.

Garba Lawal, who featured in both matches for Nigeria said yesterday on a Brila F.M, sports programme monitored in Lagos that he feared the Brazilians might want to pay Super Eagles back.

“Since that defeat at Atlanta ’96, Brazil always want to pay Nigeria back on the field of play. They will come with anger on Sunday, particularly after they (Brazil) were forced to a 1-1 draw by Senegal on Thursday in Singapore,” Lawal stated.

Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr flew into Singapore from France a few days ago with Samuel Chukweuze, Azeez Ramon and Chidozie Awaziem. Also in Super Eagles’ camp are Lille hitman, Victor Osimhen, Everton striker Alex Iwobi, William Troost-Ekong, Moses Simon, Anderson Esiti, Paul Onuachu, Maduka Okoye, Dennis Bonaventure, Tyronne Ebuehi, Francis Uzoho, Peter Olayinka, Wilfred Ndidi, Viv Solomon-Otabor, Joe Aribo and Semi Ajayi.

Garba Lawal stated that Brazil defeated Nigeria in 2003 because the South Americans were more determined and highly motivated for the game.

But he believes the Super Eagles can pull a surprise tomorrow if all the players operate as a team. “We did it at Atlanta ’96 based on teamwork. If our players can play as members of one big family, it might be difficult for Brazil to beat us,” Lawal told www.brila.net.

He continued: “We had a full strength team in Abuja, but Brazil came ready and with a complete squad and we didn’t expect how much importance they attached to the game. We now know that whenever they come to play against us, they come with anger and determination. It could be a friendly on paper but it mean a different thing for Brazil.”

Lawal has warned that there should be no room for complacency. “When you play against Brazil, you must play as a team, everybody must play together otherwise they’ll punish us.

“We must take our chances and avoid costly mistakes. I believe our team will excel because they’re young and can play with intensity.

“But what you want to avoid is any individual play because like Barcelona this is a very technical and compact side. And haven drew 1-1 with another African team (Senegal) on Thursday, Brazil will want to beat Nigeria at all cost,” Lawal stated.

Brazil assistant coach Cleber Xavier feels Iwobi is the man to watch out for in the Super Eagles squad in tomorrow’s cracker. “Iwobi is Nigeria’s danger man at the moment,” Xavier stated.


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