Golden Eaglets’ head coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, believes his responsibility as a national team coach would start on a winning note on Monday when Nigeria face Mali at the WAFU B U-17 Tournament in Togo.
The eagerly anticipated match fixed for 2:30 pm local time (3:30pm Nigerian time) at the Stade Municipal would be Golden Eaglets’ first match at the tournament following last-minute withdrawal of Niger which they would have met at the weekend.
“We are in good spirits ahead of our match against Mali on Monday and by the grace of God, we shall come on top.
“We have actually asked for blessing from God and having done our own part, we are confident that God will help us to achieve victory,” Amuneke said after the team’s special service at their Blue Angel Hotel camp in Lome yesterday.
Indeed, the Golden Eaglets would go into this match knowing that the Malians would not give them a quarter after their rampaging predecessors dispatched them from the last CAN U-17 Tournament in Morocco on a 4 – 0 aggregate score line.
Coach Amuneke would most likely start with his usual crack squad with Amos Benjamin in goal with defensive duties for Ayodeji Bamidele, Kolawole Gbadamosi, Dayo Femi and Joshua Auta. There will also be space for Jack Ipalibo, Paul Obasi Kelechi Nwakali and Kingsley Michael in the midfield. The duo of Orji Okonkwo and Kehinde Ayinde may lead the attack.
“By the grace of God, we are going to give our best in this tournament starting with the game against Mali on Monday. This is a good opportunity for us and we are ready to do our best to defend the colours of our country,” Nwakali said in a vote of thanks when Nigeria’s Ambassador to Togo, Amb. Mathew Sunday Adoli, made a brief stop at the team’s hotel on Saturday.