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Nigeria continue impressing at Olympics with second consecutive win

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Bruno Zanardo/Getty Images

The Nigerian U23 football team's Olympic journey got off to an acrimonious start, with plenty of confusion and controversy about their delayed journey from their Atlanta-based training camp to Brazil itself, but since arriving in the country, they've done nothing but impress.

Their first game, a wild 5-4 win over Japan was a mish-mash of haphazard defending, individual skill, and great finishing.  The second one, a 1-0 win over Sweden Sunday afternoon, may not have made as much of an impact on the scoreboard, but on the pitch, it was a much more promising performance.  Nigeria could've and should've scored a fair few more — Andreas Linde, goalkeeper for Molde, remember the name — but they managed to get away with the narrowest of margins thanks to an organized and solid defense.  Amazing what a couple days of sleep and proper preparation can do!

Mikel, as usual, wearing the #10 shirt and the captain's armband, played in the no.10-role, but was substituted off with about 10 minutes to go.  He came very close to scoring just prior, with well-taken free kick.  In a rather ironic move, coach Siasia brought on a left back in an ostensibly defensive substitution.  Not something you see every day with The Human Final Whistle.

He got a warm applause from the stadium, which is also not something you see every day.

With two wins from two, Nigeria's "Dream Team VI" have ensured a place in the quarterfinals.  They have one more group match remaining, against Colombia on Wednesday.