Golden Eaglets will seek a convincing victory against their Malian counterparts on Sunday to ensure the country’s smooth passage to the African Under-17 championship for the first time in six years!
Nigeria's last appearance at the Under-17 continental championship was in 2007 when the late coach Yemi Tella guided the Eaglets to victory in Cotonou en route to Korea where they equally emerged world champions.
Coincidentally, current Golden Eaglets’ Head coach, Manu Garba (MFR) assisted Tella in 2007 and has enthused that the country would qualify Morocco 2013 by ensuring a resounding victory against Mali on Sunday to make the second leg in Bamako in a fortnight mere formality.
"Frankly, I don't like talking too much ahead of our matches but there are no two ways about this, we have to beat Mali well on Sunday, " Garba volunteered when pressed about his expectations against the Junior Eagles of Mali who reached this stage after a 6-3 aggregate win over Mauritania.
“Our objective remains the same, win our matches in convincing style and qualify for the 2013 African Under-17 Championship and we are confident that the boys would deliver the goals following their excellent form in our training sessions," he noted.
Meanwhile, the Golden Eaglets are leaving no stone unturned as the team perfect strategies for the crucial game with the players sharpening their skills in shooting penalty kicks.
He said: " We have done well up to this stage and the truth is that we have not failed to score at least three goals in all our past matches and Mali would not be an exemption by the grace of God.
“We are taking no chance at all and we are ready to score goals through any available opportunity especially through set pieces.”
Meanwhile, the Malians are expected to fly into Calabar on Saturday morning and will have a feel of the pitch at the U.J Esuene Sports Stadium as mandated by Confederation of African Football (CAF).
And in a related development, the most expensive tickets for Sunday’s match are N1, 000 for the state box while the covered stand and popular side is pegged at N500 and N100 respectively.