NFF relieved Nigeria earned maximum points against Mali


Taiwo Adelu

Siasia (middle) at the post match press conference
Siasia (middle) at the post match press conference
Siasia (right) dishes out instructions to three of his boys during the match against Mali
Siasia (right) dishes out instructions to three of his boys during the match against Mali
Nigeria's line up against Mali
Nigeria’s line up against Mali

Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, says the victory of the Dream Team VI over Mali in Sunday’s first group game of the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations Senegal 2015 has brightened the chances of Nigeria qualifying from the group.

After scoring three goals in the first half, Samson Siasia-led team had to hang on desperately to defeat Mali 3-2 in the grudge match played in Bamako.

Notwithstanding the scare from Mali, NFF secretary general, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, said that the team were able to secure the victory and the three maximum points from the match. This he said is a welcome development.

“The most important thing was the maximum points,” Sanusi said.

“We knew that the match would be difficult for the Dream Team because every team that qualified for the championship are equally good.

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“I want to assure Nigerians that we have confidence in the team and their coach to win the Olympic ticket for Nigeria,” he said.

Meanwhile, a former Nigerian junior international, Ambrose Wanzekin has warned the U-23 Eagles that they should know that every team at the Senegal 2015 want to be in Rio Olympic Games next year, hence the need for Nigeria to take their subsequent matches seriously.

He said henceforth, the team must not concede unnecessary goals as it happened against Mali in their first group match.

“The Dream Team must up their game in the next match,” the former goalkeeper of the U-23 Eagles warned.

Siasia’ s team scored all their three goals in the first half through a brace from Tunisia-based Junior Ajayi in the 16th and 45th minutes as well as a 34th minute goal from Muhammed Usman.

A determined Malian side came back forcefully in the second half and got a penalty that earned them a goal in the 54th minute through Adama Niane, while the second goal came through Abdoulaye Diarra in the 65th minute.

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