Samson Siasia: The Merchant Of Valour | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Samson Siasia: The Merchant Of Valour

Posted: Aug 5, 2015 at 3:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Uzor Odigbo  –  Lagos


Nigeria may have entered the group phase of the Olympic qualifiers, courtesy of the victory against Congo Brazzaville on Sunday, but Coach of the Dream Team VI, Samson Siasia has lamented his team’s inability to shake off their sluggishness in front of goal.

Host Congo shut-out Nigeria’s U-23 team but also failed to breach the opponent as the sides finished the encounter goalless and Nigeria prevailed 2-1 on aggregate.

Two weeks ago in Port Harcourt, Nigerians were apprehensive when Congo almost upset Nigeria.

The return leg in Congo became an object of permutation among Nigerians who felt the end had really come for Siasia and his team.

However, it was not to be as the Dream Team VI survived in Congo to book a ticket to the African Championship.

It’s pertinent to note that Siasia and his boys were in this quagmire when Zambia held Nigeria 0-0 in the first leg in Abuja, only for Zambia to lose 2-0 to the Dream Team at home in Lusaka.

Speaking after the game, coach Siasia praised his side for getting the job done, though unhappy they missed some clear cut chances to score.

“Playing a match like this is always difficult, but then I knew our best tactics for this game was to go all out and attack, because if they scored a goal against us, we would be out of the race,” said Siasia.

Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia, Senegal and Gabon will compete in the tournament that would take place in December in order to find Africa’s three representatives at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Following the victory, Nigerians took to the social media to congratulate Siasia and his team for job well executed.

Even, one of the national telecoms operators, Globacom, also congratulated the national U-23 team,  for qualifying for the African qualifying Championship.

“We never wavered in our belief that the Dream Team would qualify, despite the tight first leg result. We are delighted that they did not disappoint Nigerians who supported them all the way,” Globacom said in a statement in Lagos.

“We wish to congratulate the team for withstanding all the odds against them in Pointe Noire to advance to the Senegal finals,” the statement added.

Nigerians have been suggesting ways the U-23 would become world beaters in their next assignment. They warned the coach to guide against complacency and take the assignment as a national duty it should be.

They also reminded him of past mistakes with certain players while he was with the Super Eagles, which denied national team the Africa Nations Cup qualification.

He should enjoy the latest victory reminiscent of merchant of valour and latch on it for greater honours ahead.