Head coach of Nigeria’s Under-17 team, Emmanuel Amuneke has praised his wards for their performance in Saturday’s 2-0 win over the USA in their opening game of the 2015 Fifa Under-17 World Cup in Chile.
The Golden Eaglets powered to a 2-0 win over the Americans at Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos, Santiago De Chile courtesy of goals from Chukwudi Agor and Victor Osimhen.
Amuneke said after the game that he was satisfied with the display of the world champions.
“Considering it was the first match, I think it was a good game. At the beginning it was pretty even, everything very tactical, neither of us wanted to make a mistake. At half time I told my players to believe in themselves, and it worked, because we were more precise,” the coach was quoted as saying on www.fifa.com.
The Nigerian side however struggled to get into their stride early in the contest but Amuneke was pleased with how his boys kept their feet firmly on the ground.
“Besides the three points, which are very important, I also liked that we kept our heads even when we could not get things going,” he said.
USA coach, Richie Williams also had kind words for Amuneke’s side which he described as “a good Nigerian team.”
“We are obviously disappointed because of the outcome. We played a good first half, we were balanced, solid and we even created some chance that we were not able to convert.
“Nigeria scored two quick goals, but thanks to unfortunate errors on our side.We were hoping to be more effective, but we lost against a good Nigerian team,” he said.
Alsoreacting, some stakeholders and supporters of the Golden Eaglets, Sunday commended the nation’s U-17 team for their 2-0 win over USA in Chile.
They urged the Eaglets to focus on the remaining matches in the group and strive to bring back the trophy.
The Eaglets on Saturday defeated USA as they began their defence of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, while Guinea opened with a 1-1 draw against England.
The Eaglets’ win was their first match in Group A which also has the host, Chile, and Croatia.
In his reaction, Paul Hamilton, a former coach of Super Eagles, urged the team to remain focused on the task at hand to retain their crown.
He urged the players not to allow the euphoria of the first match to derail them.
“It is a great result and opener for the boys, it will help them to build confidence.
“But, they must concentrate on winning the remaining group matches to enable them to go further in the tournament,’’ Hamilton said.
Also, Tunde Badejo, a banker and Golden Eaglets supporter, said that he was impressed with the U-17 team’s performance against USA.
He prayed that the team would sustain the momentum with more wins and reclaim their title.
“Although, they have a tough group, I believe if they can concentrate, they will really go further in the tournament,’’ Badejo said.
In his reaction, Bright Omokaro, a former Super Eagles defender, said he was happy about the performance of the U-17 team, urging them to focus on their subsequent matches.
“When the going is good, we are all happy; football is the only thing that keeps we Nigerians happy, so I hope they will win their coming matches,’’ Omokaro said.
Also commenting, Nkechi Iwenofor, a business woman and football fan, said she was happy with the boys’ win against USA and advised them to win other matches.
“I am happy that we won the match against US; it was a good performance, but they must win other matches to win the title again,’’ Iwenofor said.
The U-17 team will face hosts Chile on Tuesday in their second tie.