U-17 World Cup: Now or never against Uruguay – Manu Garba
Golden Eaglets’ Head coach Manu Garba (MFR) says there won’t be any escape route for Uruguay when they meet for the first time at the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the Sharjah Stadium on Saturday for a semi-final
ticket at UAE 2013.
The South Americans recently had an identical 2-1 over the Flying Eagles and the Super Eagles at recent FIFA-organised competitions (U-20 and Confederations Cup) but Manu pull no punches when pressed about the chances of Golden Eaglets against the Charruas.
“The Golden Eaglets are different from the Super Eagles and even if you bring a Uruguayan team with Diego Forlan, we would try our best to win the match,” Manu said confidently like a Hercules.
Indeed, Manu admitted that it was a Herculean task for the Golden Eaglets to arrive at this stage of the competition having played in what could be regarded as the toughest group that housed defending champions, Mexico and two strong debutantes, Sweden and Iraq, adding that his boys are now toughened to withstand the rough and tumble stage of the competition.
“As I said earlier, the knockout stage is the most difficult stage of any competition but we are ready to beat Uruguay on Saturday because our only aim of being here is to win the trophy,” noted Garba who is
already an Under-17 World Cup winner as assistant coach in 2007.
History indeed favours Nigeria to progress beyond the Quarter-final since you have to go back to 18 years ago when the Golden Eaglets lost 2-1 to Oman at the 1995 edition held in Ecuador.
“It is a great honour for us to represent our country at this stage of our career,” said solid-built Aliyu Abubakar who attended the press conference. “We are going to do our very best to win this match based on the instructions to be given to us by our coaches.
“We remain focused with high level of discipline and we are going to do our best to win this match and progress to the next stage of this competition,” added Aliyu who has earned his stripes at this
championship with gritty performance against Iraq and Iran.
In another interview conducted by channel from a TV Uruguay, assistant coach, Nduka Ugbade said matter-of-factly:“Like any team that is in the competition, we are here to win and we would try our best to beat Uruguay.”