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‘Flying Eagles’ll bounce back from opening day loss’

03 June 2015, 12:23

Lagos - The threat of FIFA U20 World Cup elimination looms largely over Nigeria, but Kogi United assistant coach Lawal Wasiu Jimoh believes the boys won't let down their die hard followers, when they clash with North Korea in a make-or-break tie at the Stadium Taranaki on Thursday.

The reigning African U20 champions will lock horns with the Asian side knowing that defeat could limit their hopes of reaching the knockout stages, after they lost their Group E opener 4-2 to Brazil on Monday, a match that marked Manu Garba's first loss as Flying Eagles head coach.

Coach Lawal is adamant that the Flying Eagles are not about to push the panic button, though, and believes the boys can bounce back in a similar fashion to the championship winning French side, that bounced back from a loss to Nigeria U17 in the 2001 FIFA U17 World Cup Group match in Trinidad and Tobago.

Also read: Yahaya apologizes over loss to Brazil

"I don't think any of us should be afraid because this is football," coach Lawal told News24.

"In the 2001 U17 World Cup, France lost 2-1 in their first game to Nigeria. But, they were calm and bounced back to win the competition defeating Nigeria 3-0 in the final.

"So I don't think this is a new thing for us. The boys are just going to have to keep their calm and think about winning the crucial match against North Korea Insha Allahu."

"We have quality players and I know they are capable of making the difference," Lawal continued.

"Flying Eagles won't underestimate the North Koreans, despite the 5-1 bashing they got from Hungary. I believe their objective remains the three points against North Korea, to ensure they win back the trust of the fans," the former Wikki Tourists and Zamfara United goalkeeper concluded.

-Soccer Laduma

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