South Korea became the first casualty of the Golden Eaglets in Brazil as the young African side thrashed their Asian counterparts 4-2 in a friendly tie to leave Nigeria U17 head coach Manu Garba delighted with his lads’ perfoemance in the face of several challenges.
Teenager Divine Nwachukwu headed Nigeria into a 6th minute lead but the Korean equalized thanks to a 10th minute penalty converted by Oh Jaehyeok.
Nigeria thereafter fell behind five minutes before the break as Choi Minseo put Korea ahead with a deft finish.
But the Golden Eaglets roared back into the encounter when Olakunle Olusegun equalised for Nigeria and then completed his brace shortly after, before Charles Etim’s shot outside the box made it goal number 4 in added time.
Manu Garba, who was the head coach when Nigeria won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in November 2013, was pleased with the efforts of his team who lost their first friendly game against Sao Paulo youth team after arriving in Brazil hours earlier.
”It is a good omen, good omen in the sense that we lost the first match against Sao Paulo 2-1,” Manu Garba said.
”We were able to travel two and a half hours to play a match, without stress we were able to win 4-2 against South Korea.
”It is not the winning that matters but the way we came back into the game because we were 2-1 down. We came from behind, leveled up and we scored two other quick goals.”
”The most important thing is the chances we created but still even with the win we still have areas to address especially our defensive coverage and try to solve problems of corner kicks too.
”If you notice we conceded one of the goals from a corner kick, one from a penalty kick.
”Most importantly, the win will go a long way to motivate the team before the World Cup proper,” Garba admitted.
According to Garba, the Golden Eaglets could still face another Asian giants Japan before the FIFA U17 World Championships begin in full flow.
”All things being equal, if the distance from our place from where the Japanese stay is not more than an hour and half we can go and play but if the distance is too much I think this should be the last match.
”If the distance is not too far we will play our last match against Japan on the 20th of this month,” he concluded.