Every word Ugbade said on missed chances, errors made by Golden Eaglets, Zambia’s fallen heroes :: All Nigeria Soccer
The Golden Eaglets began their 2023 Africa U-17 Nations Cup journey with a 1-0 win over Junior Chipolopolo of Zambia at the Stade Mohamed-Hamlaoui Stadium in Algeria on Sunday evening.
Nduka Ugbade’s boys bossed the possession, particularly in the first half, but couldn’t find the back of the net which made the Zambians grow into the game.
Nigeria’s solitary goal was scored in the 76th minute by Favour Daniel who scored from a rebound and they could have added a second if Light Eke had hit the target from the penalty spot in stoppage time.
The two-time African champions will now face Morocco, who also won their first game against South Africa, on Wednesday before facing South Africa in the last group game next week Saturday.
Speaking after the game, Coach Nduka Ugbade gave his impression of the game, the profligacy in front of the goal, the importance of winning the first match and the lapses of the players.
“We created a lot of chances but we were unable to convert them and the one we converted was clearly offside. Some of the passes that we made weren’t correct. When you are talking about the youth, development is the thing that we are talking about.
“You must be expecting a lot of errors, but I thank God today. The game was wonderful, but very difficult for us, at the end of the day, we got the victory but I told the guys that we lost. There is a possibility of that.
“With due respect to all the teams that came for this competition, your first match is very important because you know youth football is not about technicalities or tactical discipline or the physical condition that you put in place. All the information you give is psychological. You can see it today with a lot of wrong passes and me shouting on the line.
“At the end of the day, if we can win one more match, we will qualify for the quarterfinal. If we win the quarterfinal, we will qualify for the World Cup and we go ahead to the final. If we can win our last match, then automatically, we can win the trophy but if we don’t win the last match, we don’t win the trophy”
Ugbade dedicated the Golden Eaglets victory to the memory of the Zambian fallen heroes who died in the ill-fated aircraft thirty years ago on their way to honor an international match.
“When I heard about the crash I was very, very saddened because it’s a thing that doesn’t happen so often. Zambia was able to raise a team again. No matter how tough it is, the victory is dedicated to those that died and the ones living and today those that are representing Zambia in this competition and thanks to CAF.”
“Nigeria has always been a favorite team because at this level we’ve won the competition five times.”
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