|Thursday, May 2, 2019|
t is indeed a very big congratulations to the "World golden Eaglets", for their qualification for yet another FIFA under-17 World cup competition. This qualification is more especially sweet coming on the back of the failed qualification attempt in 2017. Indeed a big congratulations!!!!
The main goal of participation at the "African Under-17 tournament", was achieved. However the other goal: being African champions once again, wasn't achieved. We shall examine the possible reasons for this and what lessons can be drawn from this reality, for the "FIFA Under-17 World cup competition", later on in the year in Brazil, subsequently.
The World golden Eaglets started the "African Under-17 tournament" on a "goal-scoring high" ! They pumped in five goals against hosts Tanzania; but surprisingly let in four! However, thanks goodness, they were able to clinch victory and all three points at stake. It was clear from that match, the defensive organisation was weak! The " Golden Eaglets", unfortunately, operated an unfortunate " Open door policy", defensively! They let in cheap goals from the Tanzanians!
However, in subsequent matches, they changed their "Open door policy", defensively, and had a tighter defensive organisation. However, this apparently came at a price! They found it tough scoring goals! As it were, they exchanged a weak defensive "Open door policy", for a "toothless attacking policy"!
While this "policy" change in their modus operandi, fetched them the world cup ticket, it couldn't make them African champions, hence they unfortunately crashed out in the semi's against the Guineans, in a match they could have won easily, in regulation time, if not for their wastefulness in front of goal! This same wastefulness in front of goal, bedevilled them against Angola, in the third place match !
Going forward to the World cup tournament later in the year, the task before the Coach Manu Garba-led team, is to find a delicate balance between : not allowing the opponents score and at the same time having a razor-sharp attack that can take their chances in front of goal! In other words, to find a delicate balance between not operating an "open door policy" defensively while at the same time operating a "razor-sharp attack policy" offensively !!!!!!
In conclusion, the aforementioned panacea for success at the World cup, may sound idealistic, but that is the standard the "World golden Eaglets" should try to attain, if they want to bring home the big prize for a record sixth time!
Me thinks given the typical Nigerian fighting spirit, it is doable. The "World golden Eaglets", did it five previous times and can do it again !!!!!
UP WORLD GOLDEN EAGLETS ! UP NIGERIA !!!!!!!
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