U-17WC: Manu Predicts tough final against Mexico

The final match of the 2013 UAE World Cup between three-time
champions, Nigeria and defending champions, Mexico on Friday in Abu
Dhabi would be a game of wits.

This much was the verdict of Coach Manu Garba, Golden Eaglets’ Head
coach after Nigeria handed a 3-0 defeat to Sweden at the Rashid
Stadium in Dubai on Tuesday in the semi-final.

Goals by Taiwo Awoniyi, Samuel Okon and Chidera Ezeh were enough to
break the resolve of a resilient Swedish side that earlier played a
3-3 draw with Nigeria in their Group F match.

“I still maintained that the Mexican team are a very technical team
and we can see their resilience by coming from a 6-1 loss to us
(Nigeria) and still be in the final,” Manu said at the post-match
media conference.

Manu said the Golden Eaglets are now turbo-charged after a commanding
performance throughout the tournament where they have won all their
previous matches bar the 3-3 draw against Sweden in the Preliminary
Round.

“We showed today that we are w very strong side,” maintained Manu, a
World Cup winner as an assistant coach in 2007.” We are not going to
be on any pressure against Mexico in the final because we would
prepare mentally, physically and psychologically for the final.

“The Mexican team I maintained are at very technical team and I
believe the final is going to be a great one but by the grace of God,
we shall win this trophy for Nigeria and Africa,” he noted.

In a related matter, striker Chidera Ezeh who finally broke his duck
by scoring the last goal of the match, said the victory against Sweden has boost their confidence, “We beat a very good side today and I’m so happy that I have finally scored a goal,” said Ezeh, who last scored for Golden Eaglets in 2012.

“I’m so relieved that I have finally had a goal and I believe there
could still be many more for me in the final.

“I’m dedicating the goal against Sweden to my mum and my fans back
home in Nigeria and I’m really looking forward to scoring against
Mexico in the final,” he said.

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