“We have seen the stuff the Brazilians are made of, but it would be a totally different ball game on Sunday (today) because this is a World Cup match and not a friendly match or a pre-World Cup tournament. I’m hopeful we are going to put up a good fight against them.”
These were the words of Golden Eaglets Coach Emmanuel Amuneke yesterday, while speaking ahead of today’s quarterfinal clash against their Brazilian counterparts in the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.
The Golden Eaglets have won the title four times as against three for Brazil. Today’s game at the Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar will begin at 16.00 pm local time (8 pm Nigeria time). This is the first time Nigeria and Brazil will clash for a semi final ticket in the history of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Amuneke told thenff.com that today’s game against Brazil would be a battle royale saying: “Our match against Brazil on Sunday (today) is not a cup final, but it is not going to be an easy match either. This is one more game towards our objectives; the Brazilian team is very good and over a month ago, we beat them 2-1 at the Suwon U-17 Youth Invitational Tournament in South Korea.
“This time, both teams would be at their best because we have both seen ourselves in Korea and I expect this to be a difficult match for both teams. But what would count is the mentality of both teams. We don’t build our team on jokers rather, we want to play as a team because every player brought here is equal to the task,” Amuneke stated.
Whereas Brazil lost 1-0 to South Korea in their first opening match in Group B, the Golden Eaglets lost 2-1 to Croatia in their last Group A match.
Amuneke says there won’t be margin for errors in today’s game.
Meanwhile, midfielder, David Enogela has vowed not to give Brazil room to penetrate his team. His slip led to Croatia’s winning goal in the team’s 2-1 loss. “I almost lost my confidence after I made that error against Croatia, but it won\t happen again” Enogela said.