Golden Eaglets Taking No Chances in Niger Reverse
Reigning world champions, Nigeria are leaving no stone unturned in their quest for a place at the final round as they travel to Niamey as guests of northern neighbors Niger.
The confidence level of the Nigerian youngsters coached by Manu Garba was seemingly shattered following a narrow 1-0 win a fortnight ago in Abuja in the first leg but officials have gone beyond the pitch with the presence of a psychologist for the crucial return leg.
The renowned psychologist, Dr Robinson Okosun has been tasked with the responsibility to psyche the youngsters for the decisive match, which will determine the continuous stay of Nigeria in the run for a place at the final tournament in Madagascar next year.
The Golden Eaglets who have qualified for all but four of the 12 previous editions including reaching the semis for the last two, are hoping to make up for the disappointment of their seniors, Flying Eagles (U-20), ousted by Sudan in the qualifiers for the continental championship due for Zambia next February.
Garba, who guided Nigeria to conquer the world in 2013, is banking on history to qualify at the expense of their neighbours.
“As long as I can remember, Niger has never beaten any Nigerian team at this level and I believe they will be under pressure playing against us in Niamey. In 2012, we beat Niger 4-1 in Niamey and 6-0 in Calabar; and last year our team also beat the Junior Menas 2-0 when they hosted the U-17 AFCON.