Manu Garba has spoken of the Golden Eaglets’ tradition of playing good football at FIFA U-17 World Cup tournaments and remains confident of winning Nigeria’s sixth title at Brazil 2019 edition given the country’s previous performances in the tournament, Completesports.com reports.
Garba, who steered the Eaglets to victory in Dubai United Arab Emirates, UAE, in 2013, spoke during a pre match press conference in Goiania, Brazil, on Friday night ahead tonight’s Group B opening fixture against Hungary.
“We are here (in Brazil) hoping to put up a good performance on the pitch,” Garba said.
“In our desire for victory, we don’t lose sight of quality and decent performance in this tournament.
“We’ve had a good record in this FIFA age group competition and this has become a kind of motivation for us to always aspire to do better.
“We had one of our best performances in 2013 in Dubai.
“In that tournament, which we won, we also scored a record 26 goals (and conceded only five).
“It may not be the same set of players we have here now, but when you see an enterprising team that play good football and also score a lot of goals too, then you understand the talents we have in the team.”
On the way to winning the championship in Dubai, which was Nigeria’s fourth title in the FIFA U17 World Cup, Manu’s charges finished runners-up in that year’s CAF qualification tournament staged in Morocco.
Despite not going to Dubai as African champions, the Eaglets saw and conquered in UAE.
This time out, Garba insists that not going to Brazil as African champions will rub no mud on their ambition to deliver.
“In the African playoff in Tanzania (last April), we finished fourth. This is because we lost in the semifinal on penalty kicks.
“And of course, when a match enters into penalty shootout, any of the two teams is bound to go out.
“We tried not to allow the game drag to penalty kicks but it didn’t go our way.
“So, we finished on fourth position, but we were happy getting the ticket to be here (in Brazil) for the World Cup proper.
“But of course, in 2015, the Nigerian team finished in 4th position in the African championship but when they got to Chile for the World Cup, they won.
“God willing, this championship will not be different this year.”
Nigeria versus Hungary Group B opener tonight at the Goiania Estadio Olimpico will kick off at 9pm Nigerian time.
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