The draws held on Thursday at the auditorium of the Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro saw the Dream Team, the reigning African champions, drawn against Asian champions Japan, European champions Sweden and Colombia, who beat USA in an intercontinental play –off to reach Rio.
Speaking from Rio de Janeiro after the draws, Coach Siasia said there are no good or bad draws, and he believes the Dream Team can qualify from the group. “For me, there is no good or bad draw, for all the teams played qualifiers to get here. Besides, the Group B that we are in has two continental champions alongside Nigeria, so I don’t expect it to be a stroll in the park for us, but with quality preparations I am sure we will pick one of the tickets from this group.
“My target in Rio is to pick the gold medal having won the silver medal in Beijing in 2008, so when I get back to Nigeria, I will put heads together with my assistants to work out our preparations for the Games. I am confident that with the calibre of players at our disposal, we will achieve our goal.”
On the issue of which three over-aged players to select for the Games, Coach Siasia said: “Yes, I already have in mind the three over aged players that I intend using at the Games. But I will not disclose their names for now as I think it’s still too early to do so.” Siasia is expected to return to the country this weekend.