The Golden Eaglets have described their semi final match against Tunisia as a tantalising offer to show what they are capable of doing on the big stage yet again, even as Assistant coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, has tipped the team to go all the way.
The Nigerian youngsters would meet their North African counterparts at 4pm Nigerian time in the second semis of the 2013 CAN Under-17 Championship at the Grande Stade Marrakech on Wednesday, with the winner guaranteed a place in the final on Saturday.
“I think the boys have now seen the wide difference between losing and winning a match,” Amuneke, the 1994 African Footballer of the Year, said in apt reference to the 0-1 loss to Cote d’Ivoire last week. “Losing to Cote d’Ivoire was a blessing in disguise because it shook the confidence of the players but we are happy they have responded well.”
The Golden Eaglets secured a date with the Young Carthage Eagles after topping Group B following their 6-1 and 7-0 wins over Ghana and Congo respectively in the other matches.
The Tunisians are yet to be beaten at this tournament.
They defeated Botswana (3-1); Gabon (4-2) and drew (1-1) with Morocco.
“Of course, we know how the North African teams play and we have seen the Tunisians and we have told the players to be at their best because our opponents are also good,” said Amuneke, who had a successful stint with North African giants, Zamalek of Egypt.
Similarly, soft-spoken Golden Eaglets’ captain, Musa Mohammed, has again affirmed the commitment of the team towards their quest to be African champions at the cadet level.
“We want to thank Nigerians for their prayers for this team and by the grace of God, we would not disappoint them,” Mohammed said. “Though, I can’t predict the result of the match but by the grace of Almighty Allah, we are going to beat Tunisia tomorrow (today).”