Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke (MON), has described Diamond Football Club of Umuahia a very quality side despite their 3-0 loss to the Under-17 National Team on Friday in Calabar.
Promise Orji, Suleiman Abdullahi and Jack Ipalibo were among the goals for the Golden Eaglets as they extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches against domestic teams.
“Diamond gave us a good fight but we played much better in the second half and I’m happy with the response of the players to a tougher opponent like this ,” reasoned Amuneke.”We need more quality matches like this in order to put our players in good shape for the task ahead.”
Indeed, Diamond came well prepared for this encounter having lost 5-1 and 5-0 on two previous encounters to the Golden Eaglets’ Class of 2013 but despite their gritty play, Promise Orji broke the deadlock in the 14th minute when he followed up with a lively shot after Ebere Osinachi’s effort rebounded into play.
Chinedu Madueke would have doubled Eaglets’ lead almost immediately but he was foiled by agile Lucky Jimoh in goal for Diamond.
On resumption of the second half, both teams brought in fresh legs with Eaglets making seven changes as against four by Diamond yet they both stood neck-to-neck.
But towards the end of the energy-sapping encounter, Suleiman Abdullahi capitalized on a defensive slip-up in the Diamond ‘s box loss to slot home Eaglets’ second goal while Jack Ipalibo continued with his rich vein of form as his shot was deflected into the roof of the net for Eaglets’ third.
Meanwhile, Coach Evans Tony Adiele, the technical Adviser of Diamond FC was full of praise for the Eaglets’ fighting spirit even as commended the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for providing the enabling environment for the team’s preparation towards their forthcoming 2015 Under-17 Championship qualifiers.