Nigeria defeated Junior Chipolopolos of Zambia in the opening match of their group-stage game
Head coach of the Golden Eaglets, Nduka Ugbade, responded to his team’s first win against tough Zambia by outlining the reasons why the squad was successful.
Nigeria’s U-17 side secured their first victory in the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in the second half of the game, with a lone goal coming from Favour Daniel in the 76th minute of the game.
Although Ugbade acknowledged the opponents’ strength, he claimed that some psychological elements contributed to their victory over the Southern Africans.
Ugbade agreed that the Zambian team was challenging to beat, much as the MOTM, Yahaya Lawali, had before said.
What has been said?
According to Ugbade, his side had a huge psychological boost from winning their first match at the AFCON and are well-prepared for the rest of the campaign.
“Most of the time, for the young teams, the most important thing is psychology. Not physicality, tactics or anything. Winning the first game gives us a mental edge, and psychologically, we are better than we started,” said the tactician.
“African football has really developed, and all teams are strong now, especially in Youth football. We played a very tough game against Zambia, and anyone could have won. Of course, there were some mistakes, and you will definitely have many of them at this stage of development,” noted the former Nigerian international.
“We created lots of chances that we couldn’t finish, and some passes were not correct and many more errors. But the good thing is that we keep improving.
“Of course, we have the targets to win, but we need to go a step at a time. We focus on the next match, and if we win, we are in the quarters. We get to the quarters, we win, and we are in the World Cup,” the 53-year-old said, as quoted by CAFonline.
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The five-time winners of the FIFA U-17 World Cup will take against Morocco on Wednesday in an effort to build on their opening triumph.
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