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Siasia, Nigeria U-23 head to Korea Suwon Invitational Tournament

The head coach of Nigeria U-23 and the squad will on Monday begin its final preparations for the men’s football tournament of this year’s Olympics, when the delegation departs Nigeria for the Suwon Invitational Tournament.


Samson Siasia, who also steered Nigeria’s last squad at the men’s football tournament of the Olympics (Beijing 2008) to runner –up spot, the African champions have self –belief they are good enough for gold in Rio de Janeiro in August.


“Not many people gave us a chance going to the African finals in Senegal. We love it that way because so much focus is on the other teams and we are able to concentrate on devising our own strategies.


“The last time I took the U-23 to the Olympics, we won silver. This time, we will aim for gold,” said Siasia.


Siasia has picked captain Azubuike Okechukwu, goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel, defenders Stanley Amuzie and Segun Oduduwa, midfielders Usman Mohammed and Stanley Dimgba, forwards Taiwo Awoniyi and Saviour Godwin and 12 others for the invitional tournament. The list is made up of 12 home –based and eight overseas –based professionals.


After the tournament in Korea, the team will train in Manchester, United Kingdom before heading to Atlanta, United States of America, from where it will travel to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics.


Atlanta, USA was the setting for Nigeria’s triumph at the men’s football tournament of the Olympics in 1996 – a first for an African country.


Nigeria will play in Group B of the tournament against Sweden, Colombia and Japan. Hosts Brazil, who lost 0-1 to Nigeria in a friendly in Brazil two months ago, head Group A which also has South Africa, Iraq and Denmark. Germany, Mexico, Korea Republic and Fiji make up Group C while Argentina, Honduras, Algeria and Portugal are in Group D.


20 PLAYERS FOR SUWON TOURNAMENT

1. Emmanuel Daniel
2. Yusuf Mohammed
3. Emmanson Daniel
4. Sincere Seth

5. Ndifreke Effiong
6. Segun Oduduwa
7. Stanley Amuzie

8. Julius Emiloju
9. Erhun Obanor

10. Saturday Erimuya
11. Azubuike Okechukwu

12. Usman Mohammed
13. Stanley Dimgba

14. Sodiq Popoola

15. Saviour Godwin
16. Taiwo Awoniyi
17. Ubong Ekpai
18. Abdulrahman Taiwo
19. Nathan Oduwa
20. Tiongoli Tonbara 

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