Richard Tardy, Rwanda’s Under-17 National Team coach, has said in Calabar that the Golden Eaglets have the quality and strength in depth to qualify for the next African Championship, even as he promised to give the Nigerian team a tough time on Sunday.
Speaking after his team’s ill-fated 5-0 defeat in Friday’s international friendly match at the U.J Esuene Sports Stadium, Tardy said he was impressed with the way the Nigerian team played throughout the match but would be ready for a fight when they meet yet again on Sunday.
“The Nigerian team is good a team and we can see that their players are tactically aware and without any doubt, we lost to a good team,” said the French-born tactician, who clocked 62 on August 29.
“Playing against a team like Nigeria at this stage of our preparation is a real challenge (for our players) because this is the first real match since we started our program about one month ago.
“Today, we were beaten 5-0 by Nigeria and that shows that there is more work for us to be done before we play Malawi or Botswana next month but I’m hopeful about our chances of qualifying for the next African championship in Morocco. We would play better when we meet on Sunday. These matches would help us before we play Malawi or Botswana in October. I wish Nigeria well in their game against Niger next week.”
Pressed to comment on the individual abilities of the Golden Eaglets, Tardy said he was impressed with the overall mobility of the Nigerian side as well as their composure, adding that some tremendous work had gone into the players before they could play with such intensity and drive.
Meanwhile, the second game between the Golden Eaglets and the Junior Wasps would be held at the U.J Esuene Sports Stadium on Sunday at 11am. The match was shifted to the morning in order for the Rwandan delegation to meet their itinerary back to Kigali.
The team is expected to depart from Calabar via Lagos immediately after the game.