Golden Eaglets head coach, Fatai Amoo, said Nigeria lost to a well formidable Baby Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire after the 0-1 defeat in their opening game of the ongoing WAFU B U-17 tournament at the Stade Municipal, Lome.
Amoo, who spoke to team’s media officer, Francis Achi after match admitted that the game against the Ivorians was a difficult one blaming the loss on lack of exposure that led to his boys jittery during the match on Wednesday night, but has assured that all necessary mistakes committed would be corrected ahead of their next group B game.
“It was a very difficult game for my boys and given the fact that they’re a bit jittery due to lack of exposure. We played against a more formidable side during the preparations. The boys are good players and that means we have to go back and make sure that necessary corrections are made before the next game.”
The five-times world champions, Eaglets will have to get an outright win against arch-rivals Ghana on Saturday before having any chance of progressing to the semifinals of the zonal African Nations Cup qualifier as both countries have seven cadet world titles between them, and clashes between them at any level usually have an extra edge.
Meanwhile, former Golden Eaglets goalkeeper, Dele Ajiboye, blames Nigeria 0-1 loss to Baby Elephants on lack of proper preparations and not MRI tests were responsible for Nigeria recent poor performance in the age-grade competitions.
“The major problem the Golden Eaglets have is late preparation for the tournament. During our time, before any major tournament, we were in camp for six months in Abuja and Ijebu. Early and longtime camping helped us to understand and bond together as a team.”
“I don’t think MRI test is responsible for the Golden Eaglets’ loss against Cote d’Ivoire and poor performances in recent outings. The MRI test has been around since and we have ruled the world two times after that.”
Ajiboye, who won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2007 advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to organise national U12 and U13 championship for easy scouting of players who are below the age of seventeen and good enough to progress and represent Nigeria at the U17 competition.
“The Nigeria Football Federation should concentrate on grassroots football development from U12 and U13 across the country for easy scouting of young good players that will graduate into U17.”