Moments after his side’s 3-1 victory over the Junior Chipolopolo of Zambia, Golden Eaglet’s Head Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, shares his feelings with the Team Media Officer in the locker room. Excerpts:
Can you describe your feelings tonight?
I’m very happy and grateful to God. I’m grateful to the players because they fought so hard today. The condition of the pitch also enabled us to express ourselves much better but we are grateful to God that we have qualified for the semi final and also secured our ticket to the World Cup in Chile. We would enjoy the moment and focus on the next match but generally, I’m happy and grateful for being able to achieve our objective.
Who are you dedicating this victory over Zambia and qualification for the World Cup to?
How do I put this? But this victory is for Nigerians, especially those who believed in what we are doing from the first day. We played a very good side today (against Zambia) but we are grateful that the boys played to instructions and they realised how important was the match. We continue to play for our next game, which is the semi-final and whichever team we are meeting, we have to look at those who have few knocks and see how we can have them back for our next game.
Everybody has been talking about the quality of the three goals your boys scored against Zambia. What is your opinion about this?
The goals are beautiful and how would I say this: if you look at the construction of the goals and the end result of the ball going inside the net, the first goal was beautiful; the second goal is what we call in Spain spectacle; and you look at Victor’s second goal which was also spectacle. At the end of the day, you need this kind of goals to lift up the morale and spirit and I’m happy for them (players). All what we need to do now is to remain focused.
How will you help these boys not to get carried away with the victory they had over Zambia?
We enjoy the moment and the moment we get back to our hotel, it is finished. The boys themselves have realized what we have been telling them and they have realized that to achieve in life, you must be humble and disciplined. We would continue to talk to them because we are like fathers to them and we would continue to inspire them to build upon it.
Who was your best player on the pitch today?
I would say everybody. I don’t really pay attention to one particular player but if everybody can function and we all can carry out our duties, every player is important to us.