(NAN) Kashimawo Laloko, a former Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has blamed the Dream Team VI for its defeat by Colombia in the last group B match at the ongoing Rio Olympics.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Dream Team lost 0-2 to Colombia, but yet finished top of Group B to progress to the quarter-final of the Olympic football event.
Siasia had rested about five players in the original starting eleven ahead the encounter but Laloko described the action as “defeatist’’.
“First of all, we prepared ourselves for defeat before we played; the reason is because the boys know they have qualified and so they thought they will play under the shadow of Colombia forgetting that the team they want to play will come with a lot of seriousness to qualify.
“As far as I am concerned, with the quality of the match I saw yesterday, Colombia was very desperate but in their desperation, their techniques were better.
“Our boys played very well yesterday as far as I am concerned but what the Colombians did was to make sure that our boys couldn’t breathe their defense and so it was our assumption that whether we won or we didn’t win that they were going to qualify and we have qualified.
“But it was a very big mistake, because when a team has a winning streak it would give them more confidence, so, the idea of trying to lose to favour Colombia as it were was unnecessary.
“And now, I am sure they will be regretting losing that match; there is no reason to lose if you have played with such vigour and determination the way we played against Sweden and Japan, it will have been better,’’ Laloko said.
He noted that the loss against Colombia had exposed the weaknesses of the Dream Team to Denmark ahead of their quarter-final encounter.
Laloko said: “what it has done is that it has given Denmark the idea that if they play these guys (Dream Team) seriously, they might beat them.
“If Nigeria had beaten Colombia, Denmark will be afraid and will want to double their effort and play defensive game.
“But now, they will say after all Colombia defeated them (Dream Team); let us go and work hard and see what we (Colombians) can do.
“What Siasia did was wrong; he shouldn’t have changed a winning team”.
According to Laloko, 80 per cent of success recorded in football is achieved through fitness, while 20 per cent is mother luck.
He argued that playing the best of football without an atom of luck could be counterproductive.
Laloko who was a Director of Pepsi Academy noted that the players that prosecuted Nigeria’s first two games against Japan and Sweden were lucky considering how the matches ended.
“In football, you can’t rule luck out; we threw our luck away yesterday by giving some boys the chance to play.
“I believe so much in winning streak, maintaining a winning team as well as mother luck and we must pray to God for luck against Denmark.
He however said that the Nigerian team was not a pushover in the tournament but that they must be well organized to conquer.