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Eaglets coach: No more defensive errors

31 October 2013, 13:39

Abuja - The technical crew of the Golden Eaglets on Wednesday assured that it would no longer allow for defensive errors at the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Nduka Ugbade, one of the assistant coaches of the team, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone, after the team's 4-1 defeat of Iran on Tuesday.

With the victory, the Eaglets qualified for the quarterfinals of the competition and will meet Uruguay in the semifinal on 3 November.

Ugbade, who was commenting on the goal scored by Iran to narrow down the score line, said that the goal was uncalled for, saying that it was purely a defensive mistake by the Eaglets.

"The goal was like a fluke and that was a lapse on the players because there were three of them in the 18-yard box. None of them tried enough to stop it.

"The players have been warned to be careful inside the 18-yard box and I guess we still have a lot of tutoring to do, so that things can be perfect,’’ he said.

Ugbade, the Eaglets’ winning captain at the maiden edition of the competition in 1985 in China, said that the team had never and would never underrate any team in the competition.

He added that the Eaglets were taking each game as it comes and took time out to study the style of play of each of their opponents.

"Every country is a potential winner and no country should be seen as a small one to beat; the players are being taught to be both emotionally and mentally stable to compete.

"Getting to know how to take on each country had been an added advantage to us and that has been yielding good fruits,’’ Ugbade said.

The coach said that wining the competition was the utmost aim of the team and that nothing would make them sway from their objective.

"We have won it in the past through hard work and that is the same thing we are working for in this edition of the tournament,’’ he said.

Ugbade added that now that the tournament had entered its most crucial stage, the team was taking extra care, in order not to make mistakes.

NAN recalled that Nigeria had won the competition three times in 1985 in China, 1993 in Japan and 2007 in South Korea.

They were runners-up in 1987, 2001 and 2009.



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