The two team captains exchanging pennants before the match
Junior Menas of Niger’s coach, Soumaila Tiemogo has given the Golden Eaglets a resounding applause following his side comprehensive 10-1 aggregate loss to the Nigerians in the 2013 African Under-17 Youth Championship qualifier.
The Nigerien youngsters were handed a 4-1 defeat in Niamey with a further 6-0 defeat at the weekend in Calabar.
Tiemogo, who recently led his side to win the 2012 Airtel Rising Stars Tournament in Nairobi, said his boys gave a good account of themselves against a better team.
“I think we played well over the two legs but we met a well-organised team,” Tiemogo said through an interpreter.
“The Nigerian team simply outclassed us and I think there is nothing to be ashamed of because we were beaten by a very good team.”
It would be recalled that Suleymanu
Kabirou, the Junior Menas’ captain, had raised an alarm that it would be an uphill task for them to avenge their 4-1 loss against the formidable Nigerian lads.
"We were shocked with the good handling of the ball by the Golden Eaglets," Kabirou reportedly said after the first leg game in Niamey. "It was as if we were watching football on a playstation machine."
A similar opinion was expressed by coach Tiemogo after the second leg 6-0 loss. He refrained from picking any single player as the best amongst the Golden Eaglets, saying that the strength of the Nigerians lie in the fact that they play as a team with a very strong mentality.
“Football has gone beyond individuals, though I saw some good players on the Nigerian side, what impressed me most are their collective style of play. They are a good team that simply outclassed us,” he added.