Kinshasa - Nigeria's Under-17, the Golden Eaglets would be
going for nothing but victory when they face the Junior Leopards of Congo
Democratic Republic in an African U-17 Championship qualifier on Saturday in
This much was said by the team's Head Coach, Emmanuel
Amuneke after the team's final training
session on Friday ahead of the match
fixed for 3:30pm local time( 3:30pm Nigerian time) at the Tata Raphael Stadium.
"We are here to win and it is as simple as that but we
know that the game would not be as simple as that," said Amuneke who
scored match-winning goals when Nigeria won the 1994 African Cup of Nations and
Atlanta'96 Olympic Soccer Gold medal.
"We have constantly told the boys that all what we had
done in the past are now in the past and the moment of serious business is here
Keen followers of the team could readily predict the team's
line up after remarkably playing 21
matches undefeated in regulation time (bar the penalty shoot-out loss to Benin
at the WAFU B Tournament in Togo) fuelling suspicion that the 1994 African Footballer of the Year might
stick with his reliable against Congo DR.
"The only difference between Saturday's match and the
ones we had played in the past is just the circumstance because this is one of
the qualifiers for Niger," he explained. "So it is important for us
to win irrespective of what Congo would throw at us because we know Kinshasa is
a difficult place to win matches."
Typically, Amuneke refrained from picking any particular
player as the joker for the match saying that all the 18 players on the trip
are physically and psychologically ready for what is regarded within the rank
of the team as 'The Battle of Kinshasa.'
"Joker? I don't have any joker for the
match," he bluntly said. "What we have is a team with winning
mentality and we have brought players we believe would do the job for us."
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