2023 U-20 AFCON: ‘Bronze Better Than Nothing’ –Nigeria’s Sports Minister Applauds Flying Eagles

2023 U-20 AFCON: ‘Bronze Better Than Nothing’  –Nigeria’s Sports Minister Applauds Flying Eagles

Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Dare, has commended the country’s under-20 national football team, the Flying Eagles, for their Third-place finish at the 2023 CAF U-20 AFCON in Egypt.

Nigeria defeated Tunisia 4-0 on Friday to clinch the bronze medal, setting a record of finishing on the podium in the competition a record 13 times.

Describing the bronze medal as better than nothing, the Minister charged the team to put to good use the lessons learnt at the tournament as they prepare for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia in May.

Also Read: Exclusive: 2023 U-20 AFCON: Dosu Thumbs Up Flying Eagles Victory Over Tunisia

“We were disappointed we couldn’t play in the final or win this competition as we planned to, but this convincing victory over Tunisia today (Friday) has redeemed some of the pain we felt last Monday after the Gambia game. A bronze medal is better than nothing,” Dare said.

“Now we have to also focus on doing a lot better at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia in May. There is very little time left but I believe the coaches now know where their focus should be in improving the team.”

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  • “Bronze medal is better than nothing.” Sports Minister Dare.

    I concur, actually.

    Coming home with Bronze medals is worthy consolation for not reaching the final of this Under 20 Afcon. But, for me, will Bosso get to have another bite of the Flying Eagles cherry in future?

    But maybe I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s hope the Big Guns in the Glass House don’t press the panic button and give Bosso his marching orders. After all, he qualified the team for the World Cup which was the primary mission.

    Against Tunisia in this third place playoff, Bosso boys turned up the heat and made mince meat of their opponents in a 4:0 demolition job.

    But, despite the mammoth scoreline, something about their pattern of play still left a sour taste in my mouth.

    All the goals had elements of brute force and share physicality which – I maintain – will be tamed by more technically gifted oppositions who themselves aren’t a slouch physically.

    Apart from the goals, their overall movements, pattern, choreograhy, rhythm and interplay didn’t always translate as being pretty.

    But the perennial Flying Eagles gaffer does not seem to mind.

    “Sometimes playing ugly is a tactic”, said Ladan Bosso recently. “All you need is to dispossess your opponent of the ball, score and come defend it.” He concluded.

    I am glad he said “sometimes”. It seemed to me like the Flying Eagles played ugly football throughout this tournament. But, that is really, really harsh of me to which I apologise unreservedly to Bosso and his boys.

    That said, I still think they need to go into their training room kitchen and prepare a more palatable brand of football for Nigeria fans to feast on at the World Cup because what they played in Egypt was not the most tasty of varieties.

    It lacked excitement, suspense or moments of magic. It is not at all memorable and the highlights are not at all rewatchable. I can’t recall many deft moments to rave about. It was all just predictable, practical and ponderous.

    It has to go down as one of the most unattractive brands of football played by a Flying Eagles team.

    But one thing you can’t take away from them is their excellent work ethics. None of the players were passagers. They all put in 110% efforts towards achieving their goal. They played like a team and they helped each other out in tight situations. They had camaraderie and in truth, their loss to Gambia in the semi finals seemed cruel with them not having the rub of the green on that day. They really gave it their all and their dedication and patriotism can never be questioned.

    With a bit more quality in key areas and Bosso getting help in the more tactical elements of the game, who knows, the Flying Eagles might walk on water in Indonesia.

    For now, congratulations to the team for their podium finish in Egypt. Who knows, a podium finish at the World Cup with ‘ugly football’ might be tolerated and even celebrated by Nigeria fans.

    We’ll see.

  • Emecco 1 year ago

    @ Deo, I concur with you but not totally, You said, all the goals scored today had an element of “brute and physicality”. pls our 3rd goal was dispatched with applomp by Jude Sunday, That goal was a delight to watch. For a moment I thought I was watching Leo Messi’

  • Four four two 1 year ago

    Thanks@Emecco, its mind boggling to realise that the FE actually had a player as talented as Sunday Jude all the while on the bench while Ladan Bossom preferred to have the less talented , rigid players on the field even when Nigeria were losing like against Gambia. Seems Bossom was playing out a prewritten script. I noticed over 95% of the players where moslem.

    • Ignatius Abo 1 year ago

      Thumbs up brotherman @442 and @Emecco. Evil fans with evil intentions will never see anything good in this team. Jude Sunday didn’t sell akara to become the man of the match. People should stop watching football with their television upside down. Lolzzzz.
      Heaven bless the Flying Eagles.

  • pompei 1 year ago

    Shebi they said the bronze Rohr won at the Afcon is nothing? All of a sudden, bronze has become better than nothing, abi?

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