Golden Eaglets praying before their match in Conakry
The Golden Eaglets on Sunday confirmed their superiority over the Junior Syli Stars of Guinea with a flattering 4-0 win at the Stade du 28 Septembre in Conakry to qualify for the final round of the 2003 Under-17 Championship on a 7-0 aggregate.
Eaglets performance was a far improvement on their 3-0 win at home in Calabar fortnight ago as they virtually dominated the home team virtually throughout the duration of the match.
Success Isaac, Alhassan Ibrahim and Kelechi Iheanacho and Musa Yahaya were the goals scorers as the Nigerian youngsters proved that their last victory at home was not a fluke.
Attacking midfielder, Bernard Bulbwa was the hero of the day when he created the three first half goals much to the delight of the technical crew.
In the 23rd minute, Bulbwa broke free from the right wing and evaded his markers before sending a pin-point pass to Isaac to score the opening goal of the match.
Bulbwa was also the originator of the second goal in the 37th minute when he set up Ibrahim on the right wing. Ibrahim surprisingly shot straight into the net to the bewilderment of the usually adventurous Guinean goalkeeper, Gandeka Ibrahima who was anticipating a pull out.
The two goals took the fire off from the Guineans but the Eaglets are not tired yet. Bulbwa was again the architect of the third goal when he exchanged passes with Success who finally gave Kelechi Iheanacho the last ball to push into the net in the 40th minute.
The Guineans were reduced to 10 players after Keita Malick was shown the red card after a rough tackle on Chidera Eze.
“We thank Almighty Allah for this win,” Eaglets Head coach, Manu Garba (MFR) said afterwards.
“Though we made few mistakes but the most important thing today is that we have shown what we are capable of doing any time.
“We won’t rest on our oars until we secure our qualification ticket to the Under-17 tournament in Morocco,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) head of delegation to Conakry, Alhaji Muazu Suleiman as well as Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, Director, Technical at the Glass House has saluted the wonderful performance of the Golden Eaglets following their 4-0 second round-second leg win over Guinea on Sunday.
“No matter what anybody says, you can’t take away the quality in this team and they have proved it once again,” stated a visibly happy Alhaji Suleiman, who was also the team’s leader of delegation when they defeated Niger 4-1 in Niamey.
“This is about the only team in Nigeria today that anybody that watches them would agree that they are very good, so I was not surprised about their excellent performance.
“Sometimes, we are playing well and we are getting the results and we really have to thank Almighty God.”
Speaking in the same vein, Ikpeme, noted that team has again demonstrated their strength as a quality team that can beat any team anywhere, adding that the 4-0 margin win against Guinea is another indication that Nigerian football on the right course.