(NAN) Football enthusiasts in Abuja on Thursday expressed optimism that the under-17 national team could win the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the fourth time if they could maintain team work.
Some of them told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), they were confident that the players would beat Mexico in the final match at the Abu Dhabi stadium in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday.
Flamingoes’ coach, Bala Nikyu, advised the Eaglets to be ready for a possible come-back by the Mexicans.
“As far as I am concerned, they (Eaglets) are close to perfection in this competition.
“The only problem they had (before now) was (in) their match against Sweden and they corrected it (on Tuesday) and beat Sweden.
“Definitely, with their performance, I want to believe that in the final, no matter how ready Mexico are, even if it is one goal, I have the belief that the trophy is coming to Nigeria,“ Nkyu stated.
“They are doing well; all they have to do is to play team work, and not individual game.
“Once they can distribute the ball in the midfield the way Kelechi Iheanacho is doing it, instead of him being selfish with the ball, that is where we will get the goals.
“Once we can handle it and tighten up our defense, that is all,“ he said.
On his part, Mr Ibrahim Aliu, a member of the referee’s committee of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), said he was not afraid of a possible come back from the Mexicans.
He said, “although most people are afraid that the Mexicans may bounce back, I don’t want to believe that.
“What I see in those boys can take them as far as lifting the trophy for the fourth time.
“They are a strong team and I see them replicating what they did during their first meeting although the goals margin may not be wide but we will surely win.“
The Eaglets had trashed their Mexican counterpart 6-1 on Oct. 19 in a Group F opener of the tournament.
They qualified for final after thrashing Sweden 3-0 in the semi-final after both teams had settled for 3-3 in a game in the group stage.
NAN reports that the final match will be played by 5 p.m., Nigerian time, three hours after the third place play off between Argentina and debutants, Sweden. (NAN)