•As Osimhen promises more goals
Nigeria Football Federation has commended the six-star performance of the Golden Eaglets in routing the Joeys of Australia to reach the FIFA U-17 World Cup quarter -finals on Wednesday.
NFF boss Amaju Melvin Pinnick said the 6-0 mauling of the Australian lads shows that the Eaglets can retain their world cup title if they remain commented and focused.
The Cup holders started slowly as the Aussies swarmed all over the pitch at the Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar, but the tactically aware and inventive Eaglets waited for the right time to land the sucker punch, and then took the game by the jugular as the young boys from Down Under literally went down under the superior savvy and precision of the world champions.
“I must start by pouring encomiums on the players and officials of the Golden Eaglets, not just for the victory over Australia that has taken us closer to the objective of retaining the trophy, but also for their general comportment and discipline which has been acknowledged by all at the World Cup in Chile.
“They have been doing the nation proud. The victories over USA, host Chile and now Australia were well –deserved, because they toiled and invented and never let up, even when leading the opposition. Even when they lost to Croatia, they played with their hearts. The NFF is very proud of Coach Emmanuel Amuneke and the players,” stated Pinnick.
“I assure you that President Buhari will also be waiting to receive the trophy again this time, and you all would be the first group of footballers to be hosted specially by the President,” said Pinnick.
“The NFF is happy with the progress the team has been making, but I want them to focus hard on the challenges ahead and know that the trophy is the ultimate. They are so close to glory but they must be focused and have strong mental attitude on the field of play.”
Meanwhile the Golden Eaglets’ talisman, Victor Osimhen, has promised to double his effort at scoring more goals as the competition becomes hotter.
Osimhen, who has dedicated his fifth goal of the competition to out-of-action defender, Tobechukwu Ibe, exudes confidence the team would make it to the final stage.
Wednesday’s match at the Estadio Sausalito saw Osimhen scored a hat trick to take his tally so far in the competition to seven goals after four matches.
He had previously scored a goal on the opening day in the 2-o win over the USA; a brace in the 5-1 crushing of host Chile and a goal in the 2-1 defeat by Croatia. ” Tobechukwu is one of our key players but he has not played here; and immediately I scored the opening goal today (against Australia), he was the only one on my mind,” said Osimhen who has notched up a total of 48 goals for Golden Eaglets after 77 matches in all competitions.
“He (Tobechukwu) is a good guy and has been encouraging all of us to work harder.” Going into Chile 2015, Tobechukwu was going to be one of the mainstays in Golden Eaglets’ back four until he suffered an injury few days to the kick off of the tournament but has gradually being working his way back to fitness.
The ever-smiling Tobechukwu who has bore his disappointment with self-control, admitted he felt special by the outpouring of love from Osimhen and the team in general despite the fact that he has not played in the competition. ” I’m happy for the team and especially Victor who came to hug me after scoring the first goal ,” he said, adding that “team work and discipline has helped them so far”.
The Eaglets will on Sunday take on Brazil for a place in the semi finals at the now –familiar Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar, where they pounded host Chile 5-1 and victimized Australia 6-0.