Nigeria won their Olympic opener last night 5-4 over Asian champions Japan. A 5-4 win is ludicrous enough, especially after a 2-2 start in the first twelve minutes. The Super Eagles were able to extend the lead to 5-2, before a late comeback attempt made for a tense finish.
Oghenekaro Etebo scored four goals for Nigeria in the win. Sadiq Umar of Roma was a star up top for the Super Eagles, creating the space for Etebo to run wild. While the team was unorganized in large stretches, that is not exactly shocking considering their jet lag and lack of training time in the last week. Hopefully after they get some rest, they can make some corrections.
On its own, that result would go down as one of the craziest ones in Olympic history. However, when you factor in that the team flew from Atlanta to Manaus on the day of the game and when you consider the issues that have plagued them for the last week, it’s almost incredible. Full credit to the squad and coaching staff that was able to battle through that adversity to get a win. Hopefully, they can now get some rest ahead of their second game on Sunday.
In crazy news of a more disappointing nature, the first year NASL club Rayo OKC is in absolute turmoil at the moment. They came together extremely late for the Spring Season, but OKC built a pretty strong roster with lots of MLS experience in it. When their parent club Rayo Vallecano was relegated from La Liga at the end of May, statements were made about them selling some shares in their NASL club.
This week, representatives of the Spanish club came to Oklahoma to start discussing some financial cutbacks. Head coach Alen Marcina stepped down last night, the local managing group ended their relationship with the club, and most of the front office is also gone according to reports. It is unclear what the future will hold for Rayo OKC.
As someone who has been through that sort of situation, both on the front office side and as a fan, I hate to see it and feel for those involved. While it isn’t a complete surprise, it still is a negative for American soccer when these things happen.
Dallas defeats Real Esteli of Nicaragua 2-1 in their CONCACAF Champions League opener (Big D Soccer)
In other Dallas news, the Fabian Castillo saga is over for now with the club officially announcing his loan to Trabzonspor of Turkey (Big D Soccer)
More from Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo on the Castillo situation (MLS)
Montreal lost 2-0 in a friendly to Roma (Mount Royal Soccer)
A look at home Earnie Stewart is transforming Philadelphia:
Great wrap-up of the MLS transfer window by Matthew Doyle (MLS)
Could Louisville be a MLS contender? Study says they need to build a stadium to continue their momentum (WDRB)
USWNT draws great ratings on NBCSN for their Olympic opener (NBC)
Brazil, under a great deal of pressure to win their first men’s soccer gold medal, open the Rio Olympics with a surprising 0-0 draw with South Africa (ESPN FC)
Defending gold medal champions Mexico also started with a draw, they finished 2-2 with Germany in their opening match (SB Nation)
The rumored sale of AC Milan to a Chinese consortium appears to be closer to reality (AC Milan Offside)
Roy Hodgson could parlay leaving the English national team into a huge contract in the Chinese Super League (Daily Mail)
The draw for the Champions League playoff round is out, Porto vs. Roma is the headliner (SB Nation)
The Falcons cut ties with Torrey Green (The Falcoholic)
Braves win 5-2 over Pittsburgh (Talking Chop)
Georgia ranked #16 in first Coaches Poll of the season (Dawg Sports)