By Raphael Ekpang
President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari has commended the efficiency of the U-17 National Team, also known as Golden Eaglets, for their 6-1 demolition of world champions Mexico at the FIFA U-17 World Cup finals, in Al Ain City on Saturday.
In their first match of Nigeria’s 10th appearance in the world cadet tourney, Manu Garba led Eaglets produced a near-flawless performance to easily consign the Cup holders to abject humiliation in the United Arab Emirates.
Maigari said, “I am thrilled, and I must say that indeed, these boys have done our country proud. A week ago, we got a firm leg into the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals when the Super Eagles won in Ethiopia. Now our boys are looking very, very good at the U-17 World Cup. Surely, our football is on the positive rebound.
“However, I want to tell the high-flying Golden Eaglets to see this as the beginning. They still have six matches more to win to lift the trophy, and that is our target.
“They have started very well and the players and their coaches deserve our commendation from the nation at least for this emphatic victory against the defending champions.”
In the last 14 editions of the tournament, Nigeria holds the best record of three wins and three runner-up positions, and the Eaglets thickly underscored that pedigree with an awesome performance at the Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium.
One of the team’s most potent marksmen, Kelechi Iheanacho, a product of the much-applauded NFF U-13 programme, produced a stunning show with four goals, as the Cup holders looked anything but world-class beside the outstanding Africans.
Success Isaac, top scorer at the African U-17 Championship in Morocco in April, also got on the score sheet with the versatile Chidiebere Nwakali accounting for the other.
The Eaglets will play their next game against Sweden in Al Ain City, on Tuesday.