Mikel Obi Attributes Victory To Nigerians’ Goodwill And Support


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Nigeria's player Mikel and Japan's player Fujiharu fight for the ball during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men’s First Round Group B football match Nigeria vs Japan, at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus on August 4, 2016. RAPHAEL ALVES / AFP

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Team Nigeria Captain, John Obi Mikel has attributed the team’s victory over Japan in their first group match to the goodwill of Nigerians who were solidly behind the team and the grace of God. He spoke yesterday in Rio.

Given their arrival to the venue a few hours before the game, many gave an outside chance of winning the match. The best they hoped on was a draw, but Mikel inspired his mates to post a dramatic 5-4 win over the Japanese.

“We thank God and millions of Nigerians who stayed awake till late to cheer us. It was not an easy match, but we are grateful for their goodwill and support that gave us victory. Our focus is now on the next match against Sweden,’’ Mikel said.

Nigeria will play Sweden today at 11pm at the 40, 549 capacity Arena da Amazonia, Manaus, the same stadium where they defeated Japan.

Mikel, who is also the captain of the Super Eagles, urged athletes representing Nigeria in the Olympics to always put the nation first.

“In a country of about 180 million people, majority of whom are not just passionate about sports, but are also talented, it is a great honour to be selected. Wearing the national colours at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games gives me great joy.                        The Guardian

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