Golden Eaglets training
• As Cote d’Ivoire beats Morocco 1-0
Golden Eaglets have described their semi final match against Tunisia as a tantalising offer to show what they are capable of doing on the big stage on yet again, even as Assistant coach, Emmanuel Amuneke (MON) has tipped the team to go all the way.
The Nigerian youngsters will meet their North African counterparts 4pm Nigerian time in the second semis of the 2013 CAN Under-17 Championship at the Grande Stade Marrakech on Wednesday with the winner guaranteed a place in the final on Saturday to meet Cote d’Ivoire which beat hosts, Morocco 1-0 in the first semi on Tuesday.
"I think the boys have now seen the wide difference between losing and winning a match,” Amuneke, the 1994 African Footballer of the Year said in apt reference to the 1-0 loss to Cote d’Ivoire last week.
“Losing to Cote d’Ivoire was a blessing in disguise because it shook the confidence of the players but we are happy they have responded well.”
The Golden Eaglets secured a date with the Young Carthage Eagles after topping Group B following their 6-1 and 7-0 wins over Ghana and Congo respectively in the other matches. The Tunisians are yet to be beaten at this tournament-they beat Botswana (3-1); Gabon (4-2) and drew (1-1) with Morocco.
“Of course, we know how the North African teams play and we have seen the Tunisians and we have told the players to be at their best because our opponents are also good,” said Amuneke who had a successful stint with North African giants, Zamalek of Egypt.
Similarly, soft-spoken Golden Eaglets’ captain, Musa Mohammed, has again affirmed the commitment of the team towards their quest to be African champions at the cadet level.
“We want to thank Nigerians for their prayers for this team and by the grace of God, we would not disappoint them,” he said.
“Though I can’t predict the result of the match but by the grace of Almighty Allah, we are going to beat Tunisia.”
Meanwhile, Chidiebere Nwakali, Golden Eaglets’ midfielder, has vowed to wear Tunisia to shreds in Wednesday’s Morocco 2013 CAN Under-17 Championship semi-final game in Marrakech.
Nwakali, who has been constant as the Northern Star in the heart of the Eaglets’ midfield, has promised to be at his best if given the chance to feature game against the North Africans.
“My prediction is that we are going to win and I’m confident God shall give us victory,” stated Nwakali, who is a great admirer of Italian 2006 World Cup-winning midfielder, Andrea Pirlo.
“Our morale is very this for this match and we are ready to play against Tunisia.”
Nwakali remains upbeat in spite of the fact that the Tunisians are yet to lose a match at this Championship and would most likely be playing on a familiar terrain since Marrakech is located in the Northern part of the continent.