Atlanta 1996 Olympic gold medallist, Garba Lawal, has tipped  Nigeria to win gold in the men’s football event at  the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Nigeria beat  Japan 5-4 on Friday  and defeated  Sweden 1-0 on Sunday to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Under-23 tournament. The team  face Colombia on Wednesday.

Lawal told our correspondent that the national  had shown  that they could reach  the final of the competition.

“The team has been doing fantastically well and they have showed the true spirit of champions and I believe they can go all the way,” the former Super Eagles midfielder told our correspondent on the telephone on Monday.

“From a late arrival to the Games to beating Japan 5-4 and now beating a good and tactical Sweden side 1-0 to qualify for the quarterfinals is a very good display from them. They are good for  gold.

“But they should not rest on their laurels  now that they have reached the knockout stages. They need to keep the momentum going and never forget that their goal is the final. They can repeat what we did in 1996 because the pressure is not too much on them. They should not invite it to themselves at all. They should work on their weak areas and make sure that they take each game seriously.”

Garba,  however,  believes that the team has no stand-out player yet as they all are playing for one another’s success.

He said, “It is hard to say that this is the player who is doing well now. If you look at the first and second matches, the players who shone in each match were different but I think they should emphasise more on teamwork as that is what will help them win the gold. Football is a team sport.”


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