Former Super Eagles’ forward Jonathan Akpoborie has admitted that Nigeria’s U-23’s surprising 3-1 defeat to Burkina Faso at the All African Games (AAG) is an indication that the team must step up ahead of their Olympics qualifiers in December.

Sidney Sylla’s brace and Omar Kabore’s strike ensured the west African team defeated the Dream Team VI 3-1 in the 2015 All African Games men’s football event semi final at the Stade Alphonse Massemba-Débat, Brazzaville.

According to Akpoborie, the team is a solid one and their defeat doesn’t make them outsiders to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“Football is not mathematics,” Akpoborie told Goal. “The team not playing well against Burkina Faso doesn’t mean they are not a good team.

“We could have won by five goals to nothing but football can be unpredictable, and that does not mean we have a slim chance of qualifying for the Olympics.

“Their defeat only shows that they have a lot of work to do and I believe Siasia knows exactly what to do. Judging by their last game I watched in Nigeria, the team created a lot of chances and also missed a lot of chances. In football, missed chances shows you are doing the right thing.

“They play good football and their style is not dictated by their opponents. That is a big plus to the technical crew. All they need is luck and once they have that, I believe they will start scoring and I see them getting a ticket to play at the Olympics,” he concluded.

Samson Siasia’s ward will face hosts, Congo in the bronze medal game today with Senegal challenging Burkina Faso for the gold medal.

Leave a Reply