Nigeria U-23 team will face Colombia tonight in their last group B match at the ongoing Rio Olympics without the top stars as Head coach, Samson Siasia; has decided to give other players the opportunity to prove their worth.
Nigeria arrived Sao Paulo yesterday for the game against Colombia which holds at the Arena dos Corinthians at 11pm (Nigerian time).
The Dream Team VI has already qualified for the quarter–finals after edging past Asian champions Japan 5-4 and beating Europe’s best, Sweden 1-0 in Manaus.
Colombia, who drew 2-2 with Sweden and also with Japan, know they have no choice but to win against Nigeria to reach the last eight.
Siasia has disclosed that he intends to rest some of his starters in the game on Wednesday.
He said: “I had to take this decision because we have qualified for the quarter-finals as group leaders, and secondly I need to rest some of the starters because in the next phase there is a possibility of going into extra time.
“For now the boys have done well and I need to make the other players justify why I selected them for this tournament. This is not a tea party so everyone must stand up to be counted, and the only way they can be counted is if they play well against Colombia.
Resting some starters does not mean we are under –rating the opposition.”
Coach Siasia also disclosed that the technical crew is working hard on the defence line, as the knock–out stages will demand stingy defence–lines complemented by vicious attacking lines.