Coach Samson Siasia has succeeded in qualifying the Nigerian U23 team to the knockout stage of the on going Olympic football event for men, after beating Japan 5-4 in a thriller game, and a narrow 1-0 win over Sweden.
However, the team has an appointment with Colombia on Wednesday in their final group match, even though the outcome of that match will not in anyway disrupt Nigeria’s position as group B winners.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that Coach Samson Siasia is seen as one who has made good achievement with Nigerian teams at the age-grade level, his score card against South American countries shows that he has never beaten any of them at that level.
In Netherlands 2005 when he guided the Nigerian side to finish runners-up behind Argentina, Siasia encountered two South American countries and failed to win of the matches. Brazil played his side a goalless draw in the group stage, while Argentina eventually defeated his side, to deny them of the gold by 2-1.
During the Beijing 2008 Olympics, the only South American side his team played was Argentina in the final, and they lost to the Argentine. No thanks to Di Maria’s decisive goal that made the Nigerian side a second-best for the second time.
His fourth encounter with a South America side was against Venezuela in the Egypt 2009, and a 1-0 was what the South Americans got to enable them soar ahead of the Nigerian side, making it to be a tradition that Siasia cannot lead a team to prevail against South American side in any age-grade football tournament.
Nigeria’s encounter against Colombia should be the most needed match that Siasia needs to prove a point, since he is not under any form of pressure to win. A win will give him the boost and confidence to face any side in the tournament, while anything less than a win will still make it look jinxed.
At least for the sake of posterity, the Nigeria U23 side need to beat Colombia to get the records right, just like Siasia defeated Argentina senior national team while in charge of the Super Eagles.