Nigeria U23 would be hoping for a ticket to the 2016 Rio Olympics final when they face Germany at the Arena Corinthinas.
Victory for Samson Siasia’s side would see them face either Honduras or Brazil for the gold medal on Saturday in Rio De Janeiro.
Ahead the Wednesday’s showdown against Horst Hrubesch’s team, president general of the Nigeria football and other sports supporters club, Rafiu Ladipo reminiscence to Goal how the country against all odds caged Brazil in the semi-final and went ahead to win the 1996 Olympics football gold.
“It was a great day for us, it’s a day that we should continue to celebrate and probably when you reminiscent you’ll want to know how you got there and then we can sustain that momentum. I remember we lost our to Brazil in the group stage, and we had the opportunity to meet them in the semi-finals and what happened has become history today,” Ladipo narrated to Goal.
“Brazil were leading us three goals to one and about 30 minutes to the end of the game, we were awarded a penalty and that would have been a relief. It was taken by Jay Jay and we couldn’t score. By that time, people wanted to leave the stadium but I told those who cared to listen that we are going to win the game, because my men and women of honour, patriots per excellence [supporters’ club] fasted throughout the tournament.
“When they were leading us 3-1, the coach pulled out Bebeto, he was going to reserve Bebeto for the final because he believed they had already won.”
He added: “Immediately we lost that penalty, a song came to me and I started singing ‘I have a father who never fails’. Everybody started singing and dancing even when we were still trailing 3-1, suddenly we scored the second goal and we continued with our. I remember then minister of sports, chief Jim Nwobodo left his VIP seat and sang together.
In the 89th minute we scored the equaliser, making it 3-3 and everybody in the stadium including the whites were shouting NIGERIA! NIGERIA!!. We started the extra time and Kanu who was backing the goalkeeper, tapped the ball, turned round and flipped the ball into the left-hand corner of the goalkeeper and that made it 4-3. There was a goal rule then that whoever scores first wins the match.”
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