The Under-17 National team, the Golden Eaglets, were held to a goalless draw by Anantigha Stars, a Nationwide Division 2 side in a friendly match played at the University of Calabar’s Abraham Ordia Stadium on Saturday.
The match, officiated by FIFA Licensed Mike Ushie, was watched by an impressive crowd, including Chief Majorie Asuquo, the Chairman of Calabar South Local Government Area; and Hon. Matthew Olori, former Chairman of Akamkpa LGA amongst others.
The Golden Eaglets started with an improbable line up but there was little to choose between them and the Calabar South-based side since the first half ended goalless.
Both teams made changes during the break but Anantigha did not buckle under pressure of the re-invigorated
Eaglets with their toe-to-toe, box-to-box marking.
The Golden Eaglets’ bean-pole striker, Victor Osimhen, missed the real chance of the entire match in the 53rd minute when he failed to connect well a pullout from Anas Muhammed as his shot delicately went over the bar.
Though this was the first time the Golden Eaglets were held goalless
after 13 domestic friendly matches.
Coach Emmanuel Amuneke reckoned it afforded his crew the opportunity to see the response of the players against an-experienced and older opposition.
“Our objective is not to win always rather every match is a chance to
see the quality that our players’ posses and we have learnt so much playing against the Anantigha Stars,” Amuneke stated.
His view was equally shared by Anantigha’s Coach, David Eno Isaac, as well as Asuquo.
“I’m really impressed with the Golden Eaglets despite the fact that we drew goalless with them but they kept us on our toes throughout the match,” confessed Isaac. “We knew they (Golden Eaglets) are a very good side but we did not allow them to play their usual free flowing style.”
An impressed Lady Asuquo added: “Personally, I would have been happy if any of the two teams had won this match because Anantigha is my baby and as a Nigerian, the Golden Eaglets are my children. It was a good match and I hope we can get the opportunity to play another match in the nearest future.”