Nigeria’s amputee football team early on Monday lost 6-0 to Brazil in their first match of the 2018 Amputee World Cup in Mexico.
The team are in Group E alongside El-Salvador, Russia and Brazil. The Special Eagles face Russia in their second match on Tuesday.
According to an official of the team Stefan Lovgren, the Special Eagles lost the match due to several challenges.
“Our Nigerian boys suffered a tough loss against a good Brazilian team in the Amputee World Cup opener. The game was finely balanced in the first half when we were hit with a sending-off from two yellow cards. 1-0 at half-time turned into a humbling 6-0 score at the end,”
“But we are proud of the effort our guys put in under some very difficult circumstances; some of them arrived here in Mexico the morning of the match after 60 hours of travel and an untold number of mishaps, including luggage containing shirts, shoes and crutches being lost along the way.
“The good news is that the sending-off will not result in a suspension for Kennedy, who will be able to play in the game against Russia, who are the holding world champs and who beat El Salvador. (Abayomi) Bamgbopa, or Starboy as he’s known, will be able to play as well after suffering an eye injury in Sunday’s game that required a hospital visit. Our spirits are back up today.” He said.
Team captain Goodluck Obieze also said, “It was a tough match for us against Brazil. We actually set out to win but it wasn’t easy. We lost the match due to fatigue.
“We couldn’t train after our arrival in Mexico because there was only a little time before the match. But we are working hard to get better in our second match against Russia. The Brazilians played very well and they have more experienced players too.”
The team, who missed the last three World Cups due to a lack of finances, are making their debut at the tournament. They took to crowd-funding – and donation from several other sources earlier this month to help them travel to compete in this year’s tournament.
In other matches, Africa’s other representatives Angola beat Ukraine 4-0 while Liberia lost to USA 3-0 and Kenya fell 4-1 to Turkey.
The Angolans finished as runners-up in 2014 after losing 3-1 to Russia in the final.