HomeIn the NewsGame ResultsTeam ChinaWorld's Teams
EconomyOpinionsExclusiveSpecialPhotosVideos
 
 
Nigeria confident ahead of Olympic men's soccer semisFeature: "Pele in a skirt" dances into Olympic finalUnited States lead 2-1 over Japan in first half World titlists Germany shut out of top eight at Beijing Olympic men's handballChina, Sweden into Olympic women's handball quarterfinals Beijing: Sunny 31-22°C
 
English>>Sports
Nigeria confident ahead of Olympic men's soccer semis
 + -  
09:27, August 19, 2008

Fresh off its quarterfinal win over Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria is confident that it can recapture the Olympic men's soccer title it won in 1996, Local media reported Monday.

"Everyone's buzzing, they (the players) don't think we can get beat by anyone," striker Victor Anichebe said Sunday. "It's a bit dangerous, but I'm confident."

Nigeria beat Japan and the United States and drew with the Netherlands to win Group B, before downing Ivory Coast 2-0 on Saturday to advance to its first semifinal since the country won gold in men's soccer at the Atlanta Games.

"We are really provoked and motivated to bring home that gold," striker Peter Odemwingie said. "We are not far from it - two games more - and hopefully we can do it."

Nigeria became the first African nation to win the Olympic title in soccer in 1996 with a supremely talented squad headlined by the likes of Jay Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu and Taribo West.

Odemwingie, who scored Nigeria's opening goal on Saturday, said the team's triumph has served as a powerful source of inspiration.

"The 1996 Olympics was such a big event for Nigeria," said Odemwingie, who was 15 at the time. "I watched those games like 10 times, even after the tournament ... I had recordings of them, and used to play them often," he added. "I don't believe that actually myself I am so close to it. If I get that medal, I don't know how I 'll feel, but definitely it is going to be a great feeling."

As the sole African team still playing in China, the Nigerians acknowledge they carry not only the weight of their country's expectations, but those of the rest of Africa as well.

"I wouldn't say there's pressure, but there's hope," Anichebe said. "There's hope from our country and other African countries hoping that we can go and make Africa proud.

"Even when we beat the Ivory Coast, they were saying 'Good luck' to us, hoping that we can go on and win this," he said. "It would be nice if an African team can win it, but there are other teams in this tournament, South Americans as well, so it's going to be tough, really tough."

Up first for Nigeria is a resilient Belgium side that rallied to beat Italy 3-2 in the quarterfinals despite playing a man down for more than 70 minutes. The Nigerians watched much of that match on television before their own clash with Cote d'Ivoire. Anichebe, Odemwingie and their teammates came away impressed, but have no intention of letting down now.

"We've worked really hard the past couple of years to qualify for this, and to finally get here, to finally get to the semifinal, it would be really disappointing to go home with nothing," Anichebe said. "I'm sure that if we go into the (Belgium) game with the right attitude, we'll get the right result in the end."

Source:Xinhua

Comments Related News
 
 Feature: "Pele in a skirt" dances into Olympic final
 United States lead 2-1 over Japan in first half
 World titlists Germany shut out of top eight at Beijing Olympic men's handball
 China, Sweden into Olympic women's handball quarterfinals
 Roundup: U.S. wins Olympic Equestrian Jumping Team gold
 Perfect hostesses outclass sexy cheerleaders
 Kenyans confident of bagging gold in 800m at Beijing Olympics
 Six-time table tennis Olympians honored in Beijing
 Olympic Games: Most glorious, most moving
 Lithuanian PM arrives in Beijing for Olympics
080910111213141516
171819202122232425


1 China 39 14 14 67
2 USA 22 24 26 72
4 Great Britain 12 7 8 27
3 Australia 11 10 12 33
5 Germany 9 7 7 23
6 Russian Fed. 8 13 15 36
Most Popular News
·Romanian Sandra Izbasa wins women's floor exercise Olympic gold
·Horse ride or horse fight?
·Kazakhstan's Ilin wins Olympic men's 94kg weightlifting gold
·Women wrestler Huynh wins Canada's first gold at Beijing Olympics
·Chinese gymnast He Kexin wins uneven bars gold
Latest Photos
OMG! A heavy crash during women\'s points race
OMG! A heavy crash during women's points race
Ceremony marks Munich tragedy
Ceremony marks Munich tragedy
Popular Videos
Video: 2008 Olympic Youth Camp members enjoy themselves in Beijing
Video: 2008 Olympic Youth Camp members enjoy themselves in Beijing
Popular Features






 
Copyright © 1997-2008 by www.people.com.cn. all rights reserved
 
http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90779/90871/6479859.pdf