The Golden Eaglets on Sunday claimed the bronze medal at the WAFU B Under-17 Tournament after an inspired 3-0 win against hosts, Togo in the third-place play off at the Sade Municipal.
Apart from winning the bronze medal, the Golden Eaglets were the only team in the competition that did not lose a match in regulation but were only stopped in the semi-finals on penalties by Benin after a 1-1 draw.
But against Togo, the Eaglets were at their best by scoring three first half goals through Kehinde Ayinde, Orji Okonkwo and Jack Ipalibo.
Right from the blast of the whistle of Ivorian referee, Bievenue Sinko, the Golden Eaglets left no one in doubt about their desire as they showed more hunger and serious in the attack.
Within two minutes of play, they earned two corner kicks and Ayinde profited from the second to get the opening goal as the Eaglets’ piled more pressure on their Togolese counterparts.
Meanwhile, Eaglets’ Head coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, said there were so many positives to be taken from the national Under-17’s performance as curtains fell on the WAFU B Under-17 Tournament in Togo on Sunday.
He said he saluted the courage of the players for being able to withstand the stress of almost one month that started from their screening and straight into competition, adding that more players would now be given the opportunity to break into the team.
“First and foremost, I’m proud of these boys because under a very short time, they were able to compete even at short notice,” Amuneke said.
“These are boys we picked from screening and barely one week in camp, were thrown into a competition and I really want to thank them for their good efforts.”
The former Nigerian international and proud winner of the 1994 African Footballer of the Year award said he was not oblivious about the task ahead of the team to secure a ticket for the 2015 CAN Under-17 Championship in Mali.
He said the players he took to Togo have gained some exposure consequently; they would most likely form the nucleus of the team for the forthcoming competitions.
Meanwhile, the Golden Eaglets are expected back in Lagos on Monday en route to Abuja where they will continue with their preparation towards the African qualifier starting with their first game in July.