Olympic Preview: Nigeria - Belgium

What: Olympic Games Semi-Final
Who: Nigeria vs Belgium
When: 19 August 2008, 19:00 China Standard Time
Where: Shanghai Stadium, Shanghai

Two former gold medalists meet in Shanghai to determine who has the right to meet one of the South American giants in the final...

Dream Team IV? Dream No More

Nigeria are within touching distance of yet another Olympic final, leading many in the West African nation to believe that this fourth iteration of the "Dream Team" might just be on the verge of something special.

They're known as DT IV because it was three tournaments ago that Nigeria won the Gold back in Atlanta in 1996. Since then things haven't gone so well: as defending champions in 2000 they were horsed by Chile, while in 2004 they failed to even qualify after a horrific loss to Tunisia in a match that they needed only to draw.

The current crop, then, are the first to be in with a real chance of emulating those historic heroes of '96, and with a narrow win over Ivory Coast behind them they'll feel capable of doing so. This is a double-edged sword, though: expectations are high, and nerves may thus be apparent.

So too may be anger. Coach Samson Siasia slammed his side despite their overcoming the USA to win their group stage, and it's thought that some of the rifts caused by his tough-love approach have yet to be fully healed.

Better The Devils You Don't Know

Belgium, relatively unknown and unfancied, made their first Olympic appearance since the 1920s this year. And what a showing it's been: a defeat to Brazil aside, it's been fine stuff from the Red Devils, who went so far as to beat Italy in the last round.

Some may say that there was controversial refereeing involved, but nonetheless the Kingdom celebrated after getting over the early disadvantage of going a man down to pull off an incredible 3-2 victory.

Suspensions have racked up for this match but nonetheless these young hopefuls have little pressure surrounding them, for it's been years since the senior side comprised an international force. Still, they've come this far...


Nigeria (at the Games)

07 Aug 08 Netherlands DREW 0-0
10 Aug 08 Japan WON 2-1
13 Aug 08 USA WON 2-1
16 Aug 08 Ivory Coast WON 2-0

Belgium (at the Games)

07 Aug 08 Brazil LOST 1-0
10 Aug 08 China PR WON 2-0
13 Aug 08 New Zealand WON 1-0
16 Aug 08 Italy WON 3-2



Onyekachi Apam and Olubayo Adefemi already back from suspension, manager Siasia has no concerns to speak of. All are fit, and Peter Odemwingie, fresh from his goalscoring exploits against the Ivory Coast, seems set to remain with the squad after concerns over his relationship with the coach.

Probable line-up: Vanzekin; Olubayo, Apam, Adeleye, Ambrose, Promise, Kaita, Ajilore, Obinna; Okoronkwo, Odemwingie.


Vincent Kompany has already returned home from the tournament, and Vermaelen is out suspended in what is a major blow for the squad. while Marouane Fellaini is once again available for selection. There are no injury concerns.

Probable line-up: Bailly; Roover, Simaeys, Vertonghen, Pocognoli; De Mul, Haroun, Fellaini, Martens; Mirallas, Dembélé.


Nigeria - Promise Isaac: Promise Isaac of Trabzonspor serves as the team captain, although he was in fact used only as a substitute against the Ivory Coast. It is possibly, though, that Chinedu Ogbuke will make way for him once more. The 20-year-old has already scored once at the present tournament, and this Zaria-born attacking midfielder is known for getting amongst the goals at club level.. Also watch Victor Obinna, who's netted three times so far.

Belgium - Moussa Dembélé: Along with Obinna he is one of the two second-placed goalscorers with three strikes. The pair trail Giuseppe Rossi of Villarreal and Italy but a goal-packed game here may see one or even both overcome him. There's talk that Juventus are hot on the trail of the AZ hero and another fine showing in the Games could yet force a bid from the Italian giants. Also watch Jan Vertonghen of Ajax, who may be pushed back into defence due to the absences of Kompany and club teammate Vermaelen. The defensive midfielder has been an ever-present thus far.



Nigeria 2-1 Belgium

If you liked this post why don't you bump for more football!!Thanks

Olympic Preview: Nigeria - Belgium Reviewed by admin Ucop on 4:19 PM Rating: 5

No comments:

All Rights Reserved by Kickbola Blogspot Soccer Online News © 2014 - 2015
Powered By Blogger, Designed by Sweetheme

Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.