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Amuneke optimistic Golden Eaglets will qualify

20 February 2015, 19:09Israel Ojoko

Niamey - Nigeria's U-17 Head coach, Emmanuel Amuneke , would be the happiest man on Saturday should his wards put up a spirited  performance to ensure qualification to the CAF U-17 Championship semifinal in Niger, and a ticket to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile later this year.

Amuneke is best remembered for his brace in the 2-1 defeat of the Chipolopolo of Zambia in the Final Match of the 1994 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia. Though the setting on Saturday between the Golden Eaglets and the Junior Chipolopolo is different, the 1994 African Footballer of the Year has said there would be no margin for errors.

He was optimistic his boys would do everything to gain a semifinal berth at Niger 2015.

Also read: WATCH: Golden Eaglets begin CAF U17 Championship campaign

"Our expectations (against Zambia) is to win and secure our ticket for the World Cup in Chile," former Barcelona winger told thenff.com.

"We have to psyche up ourselves and forget about the draw against Guinea, we have to be optimistic to play much better."

Amuneke was of the view that the Golden Eaglets could play much better since the decider against Zambia would be played on the artificial turf of Stade Municipal.

"What we are doing is to lift their spirit and not being hard on them due to the last game and I want to believe they would be ready to play their usual normal game."

Since the hard earned 1-1 draw against Guinea, the coaching crew has impressed it upon the players the magnitude of the match against Zambia on Saturday.

"We are hopeful of a better performance against Zambia tomorrow," he said. "We are going to evaluate the players and gauge their state of mind after our last training session and we can be able to know those who will be ready to go into battle against Zambia."

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