The victorious Dream Team VI Celebrating alongside talismanic Skipper John Obi Mikel.
The Dream Team VI arrived only hours before their opening game against Japan at the Olympics as their flight was delayed because players were concerned about the size of the (too small) plane.
Despite the fact that the Dream Team VI had some difficulties enroute to Brazil they put up a brilliant showing to defeat Japan 5-4 with the appreciation of many soccer loving Nigeria. It was a game where there were positives and negatives with the former higher in proportion as the U-23 side seat top of the group standings following a 2-2 draw by the other group contender Sweden and Colombia.
With the U-23 side coming out with the maximum point irrespective of jet lag they went through, there is so much interest to note the performance of Nigerian payers who featured against Japan. On this note we evaluate the performance of the Dream Team VI in the opening game against Japan.
EMMANUEL DANIEL (6.0)
The goal keeper had a moderate game in between the sticks and could not have done better in saving four goals as he was widely exposed by the feeble backline.
SHEHU ABDULLAHI (6.5)
The right back had a good game but not the best of positioning as he was not in the right place to prevent the Japanese third goal.
WILLIAM TROOST-EKONG (6.5)
The giant defender was solid at the back ensuring the defence line with stability as he was involved in every attempt to settle defensive issues, not the best of positioning as he was caught out by the Japanese attacking forays on occasion..
SINCERE SETH (6.0)
He had a moderate game at the back as regards to his experience on this level but must improve as tougher test awaits the team in the latter stages of the Olympics.
STANLEY AMUZIE (7.0)
The left back was good on the night defensive making incisive run into the opponent as he joined attack with aplomb.
USMAN MOHAMMED (6.0)
The midfield talent had a moderate game on the night coupled with decent passes and touches in midfield but was not really at his best as he was substituted early on in the second half of the game.
AZUBUIKE OKECHUKWU (7.0)
Oh my word, he was great in midfield, the former skipper got pace power and full of speed with one or two shoots at goal. He is one of our major strength as we progress in the tournament.
JOHN OBI MIKEL (6.5)
The skipper decided to allow the ball do the running as he passes the ball around intelligent as he was influencial in the build up to Etebo fourth goal on the night.
IMOH EZEKIEL (7.0)
The forward was a real threat against the Japan as he shoot led to the rebound for first goal. His was full of running although the game before jet lag cut up with him in the latter stages of the game.
UMAR SADIQ (8.0)
Was in the right place at the night time, to open the account for his team and was a threat all through the game as his skills and silky ball control was too good for Japan to deal in the entire duration. Really the true Kanu Nwankwo.
OGHENEKARO ETEBO (9.0)
The man of the moment have just made a stern case for himself in the tournament with amazing run, great team play and clinical finishing to give his team the three maximum points going into the next game against Sweden.
KINGSLEY MADU (5.0)
The youthful defender came into add width and steel to the defence line which he did and offered the team more option going forward.
NDIFREKE UDO (4.0)
Came on to replace Imoh Ezekiel in what looks like a lead preservation but was able to add number to the defence to ensure victory.
POPOOLA SODIQ (3.0)
The diminutive midfielder replaced Mikel in the 86the minute and was energetic in the game with one special touches on the ball as the U-23 side claimed an impressive win.