Embattled Nigerian male football team to the Rio Olympics, fondly called Dream Team VI have recorded their first victory at the games.
The Dream Team VI, on Friday, beat the Japanese U-23 side 5 goals to 4 despite a late arrival to Brazil due to flight delays.
The match was a highly pulsating encounter between the two sides held at the Manaus Stadium, in Brazil.
Star of the day, Oghenekaro Etebo scored four goals in the thrilling Group B encounter in the early hours of Friday.
With hopes of a victory in their first game looking slim, Coach Samson Siasia’s boys who only arrived a few hours to kickoff dug deep for victory.
Sadiq Umar scored the first goal for Nigeria in the 6th minute off a rebound from an earlier shot from Imoh Ezekiel.
Dream Team VI Pick Win In First Game
Despite Japan scoring a penalty in the 10th minute, Etebo put Nigeria ahead again with a left-foot strike.
Japan scored an equalizer in the 13th minute by Takumi Minamino following a set of fine intricate passes.
In the 42nd minute, Etebo made it 3-2, rebounding on a poor clearance from a Japanese player.
Etebo finally got his hat-trick in the game, making it 4-2 in favour for Nigeria from a penalty kick after Sadiq was fouled in the 18-yard box.
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In the 61st minute, Mikel Obi hit a left foot strike which narrowly missed the post, going wide.
Oghene Etebo made it five goals for Nigeria in the 67th minute from a rebound shot from 30 yards out after Japan’s keeper made a poor clearance.
But the Samurai Blues mounted a come back pressure through Asano with a side-heel inside the box off a pass from Hiroki Fujiharu in the 70th minute and substitute Musashi Suzuki who scored late in added on time to make it 5-4.
Nigeria’s Dream Team VI now top group B with three points and will face Sweden on Sunday, who played out a 2-2 draw with Colombia earlier in the day while Japan will face Colombia.