Golden Eaglets fought a good fight against the Junior Menas of Niger.
Nigeria’s U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets, are expected back in Abuja, Monday morning, aboard Asky Airlines, from Niamey, where they beat their Nigerien counterparts 4-1 in the first leg 2013 African Under-17 Youth Championship qualifier.
The team will then proceed to their camp in Calabar on Tuesday to continue preparations for the second leg against Niger on September 22.
Principal members of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in Niamey at the weekend hailed the sparkling performance of the New Nigeria Golden Eaglets following their 4-1 defeat of Junior Menas of Niger.
On a day the National Under-20 Women’s team faltered in their Bronze medal match at the FIFA World Cup in Japan and the Super Eagles drew in Monrovia, the Golden Eaglets gave Nigerians something to cheer about with their near flawless display.
“The truth is that we have heard and read so much about the new Golden Eaglets but this is the first time I’m seen this team and I’m truly delighted about your performance today(Saturday),” said Muazu Suleiman, a board member of the NFF and leader of the delegation to Niamey.
“This is the best Under-17 team I have seen in recent years. We would use this as the prototype for Nigerian football and I’m confident that this is a team that can take Nigerian football to a greater height,” he said.
He praised the players for their sturdy perseverance despite some poor officiating, particularly the controversial penalty awarded in favour of the Junior Menas.
“I’m happy that you kept your cool despite all the nonsense we saw here today. I want you to maintain this good attitude because some of these referees would want to frustrate you but I’m so happy you played good football and conducted yourself very well,” Mr. Suleiman said.