Golden Eaglets line up in the first leg in Niamey
The Golden Eaglets Saturday thrashed the Junior Menas of Niger 6-0 to secure a place in the next round of the 2013 African Under-17 qualifier on a 10-1 aggregate score line.
The Nigerian youngsters followed up their superb 4-1 away win in Niamey a fortnight ago with a flourish at the U.J Esuene Sports Stadium in Calabar much to the delight of everyone that saw the spectacle!
The game was watched by a fairly large crowd including His Excellency, Senator Liyel Imoke, the Cross River State Governor, who was the special guest of honour alongside his wife.
The Eaglets gave the Governor and his large entourage plenty to cheer about, scoring four goals in the first half.
The Nigeriens were cautious but it was just a matter of time before their wall of defence would collapse as their Nigerian host were more purposeful.
On a day the Eaglets strikers were shut out by their opponents, the stage was left for the others in the team to shine.
Midfielder Ifeanyi Matthew scored the curtain raiser in the 13th minute when he drilled the ball into the net off a fine pass from Alhassan Ibrahim. Defender Izu Omego and Captain Musa Mohammed scored theirs in the 24th and 29th minute respectively - both goals coming via corner kicks.
While Izu fired a cracker into the net after the ball had evaded everyone in the box, Mohammed scored through the header.
Tireless striker, Isaac Success who is generally regarded as ‘Master Assist’ in the team finally came good on the night by scoring his first competitive goal for the Golden Eaglets!
Coach Manu Garba (MFR) said the team is still work in progress despite the comprehensive 10-1 aggregate score line recorded by his wards.
“We are happy with the goals but we are happier that we are through to the next stage of the championship,” Garba said afterwards.
Meanwhile, the Eaglets have dedicated their 6-0 win recorded against Junior Menas of Niger to the memory of late Mrs. Iyabo Sarah Adewale.
The mother of the team’s goalkeeper, Adeyinka Adewale died on the eve of the Golden Eaglets’ 4-1 away win in Niamey penultimate Saturday where the lad gave a good account of himself.
Though he did not make the 18-man list for Saturday’s game in Calabar, his teammates said they resolved to beat Niger as a mark of solidarity to their teammate.
“We are one big family in this team,” Wilfred Ndidi, the assistant captain of the team said.
“We really felt bad for Adeyinka when we heard about the death of his mum which was very painful because she was still very young.
“We have been praying for Adeyinka and his family members since we learnt about the unfortunate incident, and we told ourselves that we must win this game for him because he contributed greatly to our first leg away win in Niamey,” noted Ndidi.