Former coach Manu Garba commends the Flying Eagles for their remarkable performance in eliminating host country Argentina from the ongoing U-20 FIFA World Cup.
Despite the challenges of facing a host team, the Flying Eagles showcased their skills by scoring two exceptional goals during the round of 16 matches. In an interview, Garba emphasizes the team’s deserving accolades and credits the technical crew, led by Ladan Bosso, for addressing weaknesses identified in previous matches, notably at the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations where Senegal emerged as champions.
Garba highlights the significance of defeating Argentina, a six-time U-20 World Cup winner, comparing it to winning the tournament itself. He points out that the Flying Eagles faced a tough group consisting of Brazil, Italy, and the Dominican Republic, which was regarded as the “group of death.” Garba draws a parallel to Nigeria’s success in the Under-17 World Cup, where they triumphed despite being grouped with defending champions Mexico and Sweden, who reached the final and third-place match.
While acknowledging the individual talents of the Flying Eagles players, Garba refutes the notion that their victory over Argentina lacked technical input from the coaches. He explains that player selection and strategic decision-making during the game are integral parts of coaching. Garba emphasizes the technical proficiency of South American teams, emphasizing that despite Argentina’s qualification as the host nation, all teams from the region possess strong technical abilities.
Garba calls for continuous support and motivation for the players, urging them to strive for victory within regulation time to avoid the uncertainties of penalty shootouts. He expresses confidence in the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to provide further encouragement to the team. Garba concludes by urging Nigerians to pray for the Flying Eagles’ success in their upcoming matches.