Eaglets Going For Goals In Gabon, Says Amuneke

Amuneke

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets are going out for an outright victory when they confront their Gabonese counterpart on
Saturday at the Stade Augustin Monedan de Sibang in Libreville with
the kick off fixed for 3:30pm local time, same Nigerian time.
This much was said by Coach Emmanuel Amuneke shortly before the team’s departure from their base in Calabar on Thursday for Lagos for the first leg, final round 2015 African U-17 Championship to be hosted in Niger.
“We have come this far on this assignment and we are going to press
for a win in Gabon on Saturday,” said the 1994 African Footballer of
the Year.
“The boys have really worked hard in the past few days and they are quite aware of the importance of this match; and we want to qualify for the championship in Niger and a win this weekend would really help us.”
A squad of 18 players and officials including Coach Siji Lagunju (Chief Technical Officer at the Nigeria Football Federation) rode on
bus in the early hours of Friday to neighboring Cotonou to connect a
flight to Libreville since there are no direct connections between
Nigeria and Gabon due to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) brouhaha.
Accompanying officials informed on getting to Cotonou that the players are in good spirit despite the tight travelling arrangement
occasioned by late issuance of visa by the Gabonese embassy in Abuja
following an intervention by the Confederation of African Football
(CAF) on Wednesday and are ready for the expected tough assignment in
Libreville.
Coach Amuneke would field his battle-hardened lads with the pair of Victor Osimhen and Kehinde Ayinde to lead the attack in a 4-4-2 formation.
Skipper Kelechi Nwakali would roam in the midfield along with Suleiman Abdullahi, Ernest Agenor and Promise Orji while the quartet of Usman Abass, Lukman Halilu, Deji Bamidele and Anas Muhammed would feature in the defensive rear.
Petit goalkeeper, Ebuka Nwokoecha might be in the stick ahead of Amos Benjamin as the duo eye their first start since Udoh Akpan who was on the duty in both legs against Congo Democratic Republic in previous round is not available.
“We have selected 18 good players for this match and we are confident
they would deliver the goods,” affirmed Amuneke. “By the grace of God, we shall come victorious in Gabon.”
The second leg is due in a fortnight with the overall winner earning a ticket to the eight-team tournament to be held from 15 February to 1 March 2015 in Niger, with the semi-finalists qualifying to represent the continent at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.


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