Despite losing to Guinea in the semifinal of the ongoing CAF U-17 Africa Nations Cup, the Golden Eaglets have been commended for giving a good account of themselves and the country.
Eaglets and the Guineans ended the full time score at 0-0 but lost 10-9 in the energy sapping penalty shoot out.
The team is however among the four representing Africa at the FIFA U-17 World Cup slated for Brazil later in the year. Others are Angola, Guinea and Cameroon.
Officials of the bank, sponsors of the Delta State Principals’ Cup and the NFF Future Eagles project for U-13s and U-15, spoke to the players and officials in Tanzania yesterday.
Eaglets’ camp source said that Zenith Bank expressed delight over the fighting spirit of the team.
“Zenith Bank is proud of the players because they are quite young and will improve in the weeks ahead. They gave their all but were unlucky to have lost to Guinea,” the source said.
The bank produced seven of the players currently in Tanzania for the cadet competition and that informed its strong attachment with current Manu Garba team.
“The players were not only commended for picking the ticket to World Cup, they were charged to win the Third place match and prepare to conquer the World again in Brazil. It is not strange to the team as former champions,” the source added.
The Eaglets will play Angola on Saturday in the Third Place playoffs of the continental competition while Cameroon and Guinea will clash in the final on Sunday.
Nigeria has won the U-17 AFCON just twice and champions of the world five times.