Santiago - Golden Eaglets Head Coach Emmanuel Amuneke has
admitted that their FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 Round of 16 opponent,
Australia would be a hard nut to crack on Wednesday at the Estadio Sausalito in
Vina Del Mar.
The Aussies showed some remarkably tenacity to advance from
the tournament’s supposed group of death (Group D) where they lost 4-1 to
Germany, drew goalless with Mexico and edged Argentina 2-1.
“We have been looking forward to the team we are going to
play and today, we realized it would be Australia. At this stage, everybody that has qualified
must be respected,” explained Amuneke.
“They (Australia) are a very good side because we saw their
match against Argentina; they are a very good side and we have to respect
Also read: Amuneke blasts Eaglets
While Nigeria have not lost a second round match in the
championship's history, Australia were beaten 4-0 by Uzbekistan in their last
Round of 16 appearance at Mexico 2011. Yet, Amuneke insisted the Golden Eaglets
must be at their best as Chile 2015 enters the knockout stages.
“We have to keep working hard and prepare our players
physically and psychologically for the match (against Australia) especially
after losing our last group match to Croatia. We have to let the players
realize that the stage we are in now is crucial and it needs high level of
concentration from them.
“It is a welcome development (Eaglets versus Australia) and
before Wednesday, we would evaluate our players and see their state of mind but
hopefully, all of them would be ready to play on Wednesday,” Amuneke assured.
The Eaglets have, in the meantime, been training in Vina del
Mar since arriving there on Saturday ahead of their date against the Aussies.For
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