Lagos - Going into the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand, Nigerians were optimistic about the chances of the Flying Eagles managed by Manu Garba who had won the 2007 and 2013 FIFA U17 World Cup as an assistant coach and the chief coach respectively.
He lead his wonderful squad to conquer Africa at the 2015 Africa Youth Championship so going to the world stage, Nigerians had strong feelings that this group of talented youngsters will show the world what they've got.
The result in their first match at the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup wasn't what they bargained for and below are some reactions Nigerians shared.
Olusegun from Ado-Ekiti
The loss is not the end of world, Spain also lost their first match at the 2010 World Cup and they went ahead to win the trophy. Let's have faith in God and in these guys. Pray for their success.
Orji from Ilasa, Lagos
There were no perfect connection between the midfielders and the strikers and also the right back and left back made too much over lap which also affected them. In the defense, Wilfred Ndidi was okay but his partner wasn't good enough. The goalkeeper lost focus in the second half.
Anonymous from Abuja
Manu Garba goofed. He ought to have stuck to the players he has been using in the last year instead of using Kelechi Iheanacho and Isaac Success straight up to the starting lineup. Our midfield didn't flow with the fluidity I had been seeing since their U17 days. And the boys became too confident at a point. Iheanacho and Success should have come from the bench to play. I would have still preferred Alampasu in goal not Enaholo. Enaholo ought to have been substituted after his first mistake in the first half. Awoniyi couldn't even find his rhythm
Also read: Ratings of the Flying Eagles players
Collins Waka'ayi from Plateau State
The Brazilians were afraid of our boys so they force our own boys to play their style of play and that was where we couldn't get the rhythm of the game, we lost control and we struggle through out of game. I expect our boys to play our style of soccer, I called it the chameleon play, we are better than the Brazilians. Look at how we scored our goals. Our boys will grow from game to game.
Egiom Sotohn from Port Harcourt
Enaholo, the goal keeper really killed us! That match would have simply ended in a draw. The third goal gave the Brazilians confidence and the fourth goal was a shame.
Emmanuel from Makurdi
I think the mistake coach Garba made was to start three of those players that joined them late, Idowu wasn't meant to be left out from the starting eleven, that boy helped the defense alot, he is a maker to the core.
Wake Mustapha, Lokoja
Not a good way to start the championship. Too many school boy errors. The coaches bowed to pressure to start big names in the team, no perfect combination between the midfield and attack. Iheanacho was in his shadow throughout. Nothing like team play as we know them to be. Susceptive defense. Very unfortunate for Enaholo (Aplate), he had a bad day, looked a bit jittery but I want the coaches to keep their faith in him. For the team, I expect many changes especially in the middle, Ify Ify (Edibe) cannot do the marking alone and we need a blade runner on the flank, like Godwin Savior or Moses Simon. Very optimistic we will sail through the group. #Hopealive. #TeamFlyingEagles.
Frank Carlos from Enugu
Though the goalkeeper made some expensive mistakes but, I still believe they'll improve as the tournament progresses.
Adebayo Abayomi from Ilorin
The Flying Eagles problem was goalkeeper and defenders.
David Rondys Enyimba Int'l player
Enaholo the goal keeper was at fault, Wilfred Ndidi was not good enough
Jeff from Port Harcourt
There was tactical deficiency on the Flying Eagles bench. Brazil became more tactical during second the half.
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