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Garba: Sweden semi-final a dream

04 November 2013, 14:33

Abuja - Golden Eaglets coach Manu Garba has described the team's upcoming semi-final match in the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup against Sweden as a dream match.

A statement from the team's media officer, Morakinyo Abodunrin, on Sunday said the coach commended the players for their performance in the quarter-final 2-0 win against Uruguay.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a goal in each half by Taiwo Awoniyi saw the Nigerian under-17 male team inch closer to winning their fourth title.

They will lock horns with Sweden on November 5 to book a place in the final, with the match both teams' second meeting in the tournament after a 3-3 draw in a Group F encounter.

"I want to congratulate the boys for a job well done on Saturday against Uruguay, and Sweden should be ready for our fireworks in the semi-final match on Tuesday.

"We have learnt so much playing against Sweden the last time, but we shall be ready for them this time around,'' Garba said.

He said the onus is now on the Golden Eaglets to carry the African banner following the exit of continental champions Cote d'Ivoire through a 1-2 loss to Argentina in an earlier match.

"It is unfortunate that our African brothers, Cote d’Ivoire, are already out of the competition. But we are going to fly the flag of the continent since so much would be expected from us,'' Garba said.

The statement further quoted the Eaglets’ goal scorer against Uruguay, Awoniyi, as saying he dedicated his goals to his family members and his grassroots coach.

"I am very happy that I was able to score the goals today and apart from my team mates and the coaching crew, these goals are for members of my family.

"My dad gave me the opportunity right from the childhood to play football and I want to thank him so much.

"I can't forget the coach, Abdulrazak Olojo who discovered me at United Academy FC of Ilorin. But my greatest gratitude goes to God for this sweet victory against Uruguay today,'' Awoniyi, who now has three goals, said.

In the other semi-final pairing, Argentina will take on defending champions Mexico.

NAN reports that the tournament which is in its 15th edition started on October 17 and will end on November 8.



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