No team had a harder time getting to Rio de Janeiro than the Nigerian men’s soccer team, and when the players finally arrived they had just hours to prepare for a match against Japan. What was their reward for a tumultuous trip? The wrong national anthem.
When it came time before the game to honor each country with the playing of the national anthem, Nigeria heard a tune that was definitely not right.
The Nigerians were evidently unfazed by the error, holding off Japan for a 5-4 victory. But their disappointment was apparent when the music began playing.
It didn’t go unnoticed by Nigerian fans watching the match, either. Plenty tweeted about the gaffe, including some sports writers from the country:
— Bolarinwa Olajide (@iambolar) August 5, 2016
— Osasu Obayiuwana (@osasuo) August 5, 2016
Nigeria arrived in Brazil with less than seven hours until the beginning of its opening game against Japan, but shook off the jet lag to pour on enough offense to grab three crucial points in the group standings.
A draw between Sweden and Colombia on Thursday means Nigeria will enter its second match in first place in Group B. If Nigeria — finally able to get some rest and proper preparation — is able to beat Sweden on Sunday, it will clinch a spot in the quarterfinals.
That will also give stadium officials a few days to find a recording of Nigeria’s national anthem so the team can be properly introduced for its next Olympics match.
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