Santiago - The city of Concepción and Estadio Municipal for
that matter has gone down in the history of Nigerian football as the venue
where the country's star-studded U-20 squad of 1987 met their waterloo
following a humiliating 4-0 loss to Brazil at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Chile
Twenty -eight years after what was called the 'Chile
Debacle' by a section of the Nigerian media, the Golden Eaglets will hoist the
Nigerian flag in Concepción yet again for a crunch semi-final match against
Mexico at the on–going FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015, with the winner
guaranteed a slot in the final match slated for Sunday in Vina del Mar.
Speaking to thenff.com, Coach Emmanuel Amuneke said the
unfortunate loss by the Flying Eagles 28 years ago in Concepción will be an
added motivation to guide the Golden Eaglets against defeat to the Baby El Tri
"Sincerely, I can't remember anything about Chile 1987
and I don't want to be bothered about that,” said the straight –talking 1994
African Footballer of the Year about Nigeria-Brazil clash of October 11, 1987.
"But that said, we can't afford to lose (at the same venue) to Mexico and
this is an important game for us."
Also read: Amuneke: We’re not under pressure to win
Nigeria and Mexico have only met thrice at the FIFA U-17
World Cup, with the Baby El Tri claiming a 1-0 win in a group phase match at
Canada 1987 while the Golden Eaglets had the upper hand twice in 2013, when
they walloped the Mexicans 6-1 and 3-0 in the group phase and the
championship’s Final Match respectively.
Amuneke reckons that the Golden Eaglets must, therefore, be
at their best against the Baby El Tri who will be hard pressed to avenge their
losses at the last tournament in the United Arab Emirates.
"The Mexicans are a very good side and their
performance so far at Chile 2015 is an indication that they have a very solid
structure back home," he noted. "But we are working to ensure that
the players are mentally ready for this big match."
Meanwhile, Amuneke was honoured on Tuesday with an award by
the Chiguayante community in Concepcion. The award, according to the
organizers, was in recognition of the Golden Eaglets' Head Coach’s feat in
leading a team to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015.
16 July, 1987: Nigeria 0:1Mexico
19 October, 2013: Mexico 1:6 Nigeria
8 November, 2013: Nigeria 3:0 MexicoFor
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