The Coach of the Nigeria U-17 team, Manu Garba, has said that the Uganda U-17s were lucky to have pulled a 1-1 draw against the Golden Eaglets in Saturday’s final Group A tie.
According to Coach Garba, the Golden Eaglets ought to have scored more than the solitary goal they scored against the Cubs. He also blamed the goal conceded by his team to a moment’s loss of concentration.
“I must say that it was a highly tactical game, the Ugandans played well but looking at the chances created, we created more chances than the Ugandans. Our boys lost concentration to concede, that’s carelessness,” Garba told journalists at his post-match conference at the Chamazi Stadium, Mbagala.
The Nigerian coach also expressed his delight that the first task of qualifying for the World Cup has been achieved and now they would have to step up their performance
“First, I thank God Almighty for qualifying for the semifinals and the World Cup which is our first objective.
“… I must thank them for not losing in three matches but I think the boys have not reached their form. They are just trying to pick up match by match.
“I had five first-team players who had their first international match when we played Tanzania, so they are just trying to get their confidence into the tournament.
“I must say the semifinal is going to be a different ball game entirely because it is going to be highly tactical. We intend to see whoever we are playing so that we can map out the strategies to make sure we get into the final.”
Though Nigeria is most likely going to avoid Cameroon in the semi-final of the ongoing U-17 AFCON, Coach Garba says there is nothing to fear even if the Young Lions are their next opponents.
“The first team in each group don’t play each other. But no matter what, if you want to win a tournament, you should be prepared to face any team.
“Cameroon are a team that are very physical, so we know how to deal with them. Like my colleague said, I believe that technically we can outwit the Cameroonians,” he coach concluded.