Oghenekaro Etebo scored four goals against Asian champions Japan in Nigeria’s first game at the 2016 Rio Olympics and already all eyes are on him as the Dream Team VI gets set to battle Sweden in their second game and the question on the lips of everyone is “Can he reproduce the fire?”
The last time any player scored four-times in a single match at the Olympics was 44 years ago when Bernd Nickel helped West Germany to a 7-0 win against USA, so Etebo is already in the history books for equalling such feat in modern times.
Although he is relatively unknown to European football, Etebo was voted CAF most promising talent in 2015 and emerged topscorer at the 2015 CAF Under-23 Nations Cup, so back in Africa and especially in Warri, Nigeria he is a household name.
The 20-year-old who helped Feirense gain promotion to the Portuguese top flight made an early claim for the best player in Rio 2016 with four fantastic goals in the first game of a major tournament despite the team arriving late to the venue.
Etebo showed great strength, stamina, pace, vision, and calmness in front of goal to drag the Samson Siasia side out of a delicate situation as a poor result could’ve dampened their confidence and enthusiasm for the rest of the tournament.
Sweden drew their opening game 2-2 against Colombia and needs a win to stand a chance of making it into the next round. They will draw confidence that the Nigerian defence is not the most solid but at the same time be wary of the diminutive Etebo who at the moment scores whenever he wants.
Nigeria will once again bank on the goalscoring instincts of the former Warri Wolves forward and hope his fire will burn off the challenge of Sweden as the Dream Team VI looks to equal the title winning feat of the Atlanta 1996 squad.