Tuesday Aug 09, 2016. 17:00
Nigeria coach Samson Siasia has said he will rest several of his first-team stars for Wednesday night’s final group game against Colombia as his team have already won the group and are through to the last eight.
READ: PREVIEW Colombia vs Nigeria
Nigeria battle Colombia inside the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo by 11pm Nigerian time.
"I had to take this decision (to rest starters) because we have qualified for the quarterfinals as group leaders, and secondly I need to rest some of the starters because in the next phase there is a possibility of going into extra time,” he said.
"For now the boys have done well and I need to make the other players justify why I selected them for this tournament.
“This is not a tea party so everyone must stand up to be counted, and the only way they can be counted is if they played well against Colombia.
“Resting some starters does not mean we are underrating the opposition."
The likes of Al Ahly new signing Junior Ajayi, goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi and late comer Umar Aminu are therefore expected to start on Wednesday.
Siasia also disclosed that the technical crew is working hard on the defence line, as the knockout stages will see stingy defence –lines complemented by vicious attacking lines.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria U23s will for the first time in the tournament, wear all-white jerseys in the game against Colombia.