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Golden Eaglets coach hails opponent

26 January 2015, 14:25Israel Ojoko

Abuja - Golden Eaglets coach Emmanuel Amuneke has thumbed-up Ace Football Academy of Kaduna after they forced his wards to a 1-1 draw in a friendly played in Abuja.

Christian Charles gave the Golden Eaglets a first half lead when he converted a penalty after Suleiman Muhammed's goal-bound shot was handled in the box by Ace's  captain, Hassan, who later brought both sides on equal terms in the second half as he nodded  home a corner kick beyond  Eaglets' goalkeeper,  Amos Benjamin.

The Golden Eaglets actually started with a possible line up complete with many youngsters recruited from the national Under-15 team but it was there for all to see that some still need some catch up days leading to the team's opening match against the host at the forthcoming Niger 2015 African Junior Championship.

"I intentionally started this match with many of our fringe players in order to see how they can collectively cope," Amuneke said afterwards.

"But Ace really gave us a good test and we can now judge some of these youngsters better."

Also read: Golden Eaglets hand Fountain Youth 7-0 defeat

While Ace practically dominated the first stanza of the match but lost several opportunities, the Golden Eaglets were better towards the end of the game following the introduction of their tried and tested legs.

"I think Ace was better than us especially in the first half but we are not discouraged about the performance of some of our players," added Amuneke.

"Now, we are gradually having a clearer picture of what our team would look like in Niger."

Niger 2015, the 11the African U-17 Championship would be held in Niamey between February 15 and March 1st. The Golden Eaglets are drawn in Group A along with host Niger, Guinea and Zambia.

Nigeria and their northern neighbour, Niger, would play the championship's opening fixture of February 15 at the Stade Général Seyni Kountché (SGSK) multi-purpose stadium.

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