Sending U-23 to Brazil, Korea has proved useful, says NFF
The Nigeria Football Federation says it has a sense of satisfaction for organizing the high –profile friendly against Brazil for the U-23 National Team and for also enlisting the team for the Four –Nation Invitational Tournament in Suwon, Korea Republic where the team played against Korea, Denmark and Honduras ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, Hon. Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande noted yesterday that all four teams that the Nigeria U-23 played against (Brazil, in Vitoria on March 24 and; Denmark, Honduras and Korea, at the Suwon Tournament early June) reached the quarter –finals of the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 alongside Nigeria.
“Looking back, flying the team all the way to Brazil for the friendly in Vitoria on March 24 (which Nigeria won 1-0) and to the Suwon Tournament in Korea has proved sensible. The results in Suwon may not have been what we expected, but it gave the team good idea of what to expect at the Olympics and the Danish team that walloped our boys 6-2 in one of their matches eventually turned out to be opponents for the quarter final match, which our boys won 2-0.
“The importance of getting our teams to play international friendlies and at invitational tournaments can never be over –emphasized. Today, Nigeria, Brazil and Honduras are in the semi finals of the Olympics. When we qualify for the final, our opponents (whether Brazil or Honduras) will be familiar foes, which is an advantage.”
At the Suwon Tournament, the Nigeria Olympic team also lost 1-2 to Korea Republic but came back from one goal down to defeat Honduras 3-1 in their last match.
Brazil take on Honduras in the first semi final at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, before the Nigeria U23 confront Germany at the Corinthians Arena starting from 4pm (8pm Nigeria time).