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Abuja, June 2, 2023 Former Golden Eaglets coach, Manu Garba, said on Thursday that the Flying Eagles deserved more accolades after they knocked out hosts Argentina from the ongoing Under-20 FIFA World Cup.
Naija247news reports that the Flying Eagles, against all odds, produced two classical goals to defeat the South American team in the round of 16 match played on Wednesday night.
Garba told NAN in an interview on Thursday that beating Argentina was like winning the World Cup, considering the challenges involved in playing a host country in any tournament.
He also said that the Technical crew, led by Ladan Bosso, worked on the grey areas noticed in previous matches, especially at the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) which produced Senegal as Champions.
“The Flying Eagles deserve all accolades to have come out from the group to beat host Argentina which have won the Under-20 World Cup on six occasions.
“Most importantly, the coaches worked on the grey areas of the team so to speak. The team deserves praises because you can see that the Senegalese team who are the African Champions, did not progress from their group.
“Right from the time of the draws, the Flying Eagles group comprising of Brazil, Italy and Dominican Republic was tagged the group of death.
“Just like we had in the Under-17 in 2013 when we had in our group defending champions, Mexico and Sweden playing in the final and third-place match.
“Nigeria went ahead to win the Under-17 World Cup with Mexico winning the silver and Sweden, third; all from the same group.
“We now have the three teams in the Flying Eagles group making it to the quarter-finals which means that their group was truly the strongest,” Garba said.
According to him, Bosso deserves more accolades having headed to advice of many stakeholders and dropping some players after the Under-20 AFCON tournament.
Garba, however, disagreed with the argument that the Flying Eagles players displayed individual talents and strength against Argentina as there was no technical input from the coaches.
“You know they dropped some players after the AFCON tournament, especially in the midfield and the attacking line.
“In coaching, selection of players is part of the coaches input and they must be reading the match as it progresses, so one cannot say that the team depended only on the strength of the players.
“Though Argentina didn’t qualify for the World Cup from South America, they qualified as the host nation, but all South American team are technically good.”
He urged the players and their coaches to do their best in winning their encounters in the regulated period to avoid penalties.
He noted that with penalties, the game can go to either side.
Garba also urged Nigerians to continue to pray for the team for more victories.
“Government should try and motivate them further. They need more motivations and I know NFF will do just that.”