Rio Olympic: Nigeria stunt Japan to claim victorious opener
Rio Olympic: How Nigeria sinks Japan to claim victorious opener
Nigeria’s player Oghenekaro Etebo (8) celebrates the team’s third goal against Japan in the arly hours on Friday.
Nigeria’s men’s soccer team made an extraordinary start to its Olympic campaign, beating Japan 5-4 in Manaus on Thursday just hours after landing in Brazil following a nerve-wracking travel mix-up.
The team was stranded in Atlanta for days amid a bizarre saga that saw flights cancelled because of missed payments and because a plane was too small, before eventually taking off on the morning of the game.
However, despite what would seem to be the worst kind of preparation, Nigeria produced an inspired display to sink Japan. The contest was evenly matched in the opening stages, with honors remaining even following a frantic opening burst that produced four goals in 10 minutes.
Our correspondent gathered that Delta Air Lines came to the rescue of Nigeria’s football Dream Team by providing a dedicated charter flight to fly the team from Atlanta to Manaus in Brazil less than 24 hours before their crucial Rio Olympics football game opening match against Japan.
Thanks to a tab temporarily picked up by Delta Air Lines for the charter flight, the stranded team is expected to land in Brazil at 2pm local time which gives the team just enough time to clear customs and stretch before kickoff at 9pm.
The Nigeria Dream team flew to Manaus in the special Delta charter flight usually used for the National Basketball Association, flight 757-200 (VIP NBA Aircraft) to operate the flight, after obtaining NBAs permission to operate the aircraft for the mission.
“This is a special occasion, not only because it’s the Olympics,” Delta spokesman Anthony Black said, but also, “exactly 20 years ago, on this day, the Nigerian football team needed a miracle to beat Argentina to win the gold medal in Atlanta at the Olympics. Today, we are happy to help them with another miracle.”
According to Samson Siasia, the coach of the Nigerian team “The team is flying down on a charter that takes sports teams to their destinations. This makes the players happy. The players will have more leg room and they will be able to sleep on their way to Manaus.”Sadiq Umar put Nigeria ahead just five minutes in, before Shinzo Koroki equalized moments later from the penalty spot. Oghenakaro Etobo put the African side back in front, only for Takumi Minamino to again make things all square.
Football News Rio Olympics: Etebo scores 4 goals as Nigeria defeat Japan Nomso Obiajuru 5 hours ago 356154 – Nigeria beat Japan 5-4 to go top of Group B in the Rio Olympics – Etebo scores four goals for Nigeria in a game that produced four goals in five minutes – Sadiq Umar opened the scoring for Nigeria CD Feirense star Oghenekaro Etebo stole the show as Nigeria U-23 defeated Japan 5 – 4 in their first game at the Rio Olympics game in Brazil. Etebo scored four of Nigeria’s five goals in the nine goal thriller as Roma star Sadiq Umar got the other.