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U-23 Knows Rio Olympics Foes Thursday

Under-23 group opponents at the Rio Olympics football event will be known on Thursday as FIFA when conducts the draw in Brazil.

Nigerias is in port 2 alongside Korea Republic, Honduras and Iraq. The Atlanta Olympics gold winner may be drawn against Brazil (Pot 1) or Argentina (Pot 1) or Portugal (Pot 3) and Colombia (Pot 4).

In pot 1, are hosts Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Japan. Pot 3 has Sweden, Fiji, Portugal and South Africa while Algeria, Colombia, Denmark and Germany are in pot 4.

Nigeria’s best performance at the Olympics was winning the Atlanta Olympics gold and silver at the Beijing Games.

Not a few Nigerians will understandably express apprehension on the chances of being in the same group with host, Brazil and its neighbours, Argentina. But Nigeria is entering the draw as African Champion, having won the U-23 Cup of Nations in Senegal in 2015.

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Incidentally, just like Nigeria, Argentina qualified for the football event of the Rio Olympics after emerging South American Champions in a championship played in Uruguay in January 2015.

The Argentines scored 24 goals in nine games en route winning the South American U-23 tournament. But Siasia is not new to Argentina challenge after playing them both as a player and coach with Nigeria losing on all occasions.

Speaking on Tuesday, Siasia, who is already in Rio, Brazil for the draw expressed optimism on the chances of Nigeria doing well at the football event. He also said he cared less about who will eventually emerge Nigeria’s opponent.

“We are prepared to face any country; we are not afraid of any country because for you to do well, you must be prepared to face any country.

“I know with adequate preparation, Nigeria will not disappoint at the Olympics,” he said.