Nigeria U-23 Eagles coach, Samson Siasia, has concluded plans to rest his key players when Nigeria battle Colombia in Wednesday’s Group B final game at the Arena dos Corinthians.
The team has already qualified for the tournament quarter –finals after edging Asian champions Japan 5-4 and defeating Europe’s best Sweden 1-0 in the dry atmosphere of Manaus.
“I had to take this decision because we have qualified for the quarter finals as group leaders, and secondly I need to rest some of the starters because in the next phase there is a possibility of going into extra time,” Siasia said in Sao Paulo.
“For now the boys have done well and I need to make the other players justify why I selected them for this tournament. This is not a tea party so everyone must stand up to be counted, and the only way they can be counted is if they play well against Colombia. Resting some starters does not mean we are under –rating the opposition.”
He also said that the technical crew is working hard on the defence line, as the knock –out stages will see stingy defence –lines complemented by vicious attacking lines.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria U23 will for the first time in the tournament, dorn white jerseys in the game against Colombia. The players have already been handed two pairs of white jerseys each, as has been the practice since the commencement of the tournament. Each player is given two pairs of jerseys for each game, so that he can put on a fresh one when coming out for the second half in each game.
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