Nigeria’s soccer contingent to the Rio 2016 Olympics, Dream Team VI, has arrived at Manaus in Brazil.
The Dream Team led by Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi will take on Japan in their Olympics opener.
Nigeria’s Olympic men’s soccer team was locked in a race against time to make it to Brazil for its opening match on Thursday.
This followed a farcical mix-up that saw the Dream Team VI players stranded in Atlanta USA for several hours.
The squad finally left American soil Thursday morning, boarding a flight that landed in the western Brazilian city of Manaus.
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The Dream Team arrive barely 3 hours ahead of their Group B clash with Japan (9 p.m. ET).
Reports confirmed on Thursday morning that the team’s flight departed as per its 8 a.m. ET schedule.
It landed between 2-3pm local time, with kickoff set for 9pm.
Nigeria is in Group B alongside Sweden, Colombia and Japan. A win against Japan in the tie seems highly unlikely in the game which is scheduled to take place by 2am on Friday.
Dream Team VI Arrive In Time To Face Japan
Coach of the team, Samson Siasia expects a win to put the team in a good position for progressing into the next stage.
The team had arrived Brazil late for the Olympics due to a delay in payment for their chartered flight.
Having been stuck in Atlanta, USA, where they had gone for training ahead of the competition, and arriving Menaus few hours to the game, there are concerns about the ability of the players to give their best.
Analysts say the players are likely to suffer from jet-lag as a result of the long flight hours.
Historically, matches between Japan and Nigeria at the Atlanta ’96 and the 2008 Beijing Olympics ended in Nigeria’s favour.
It is hoped that they would repeat this feat.