Football

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Nigeria not afraid of any team – Manu Garba

Golden Eaglets coach Manu Garba

Golden Eaglets coach, Manu Garba, says his boys are battle-ready to face all the teams in their group and emerge victorious to advance to the next stage of the Under-17 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The coach his wards would approach the competition which starts on October 26 with determination and a deep sense of concentration, adding that they are not afraid of any team.

Reacting to the list of players released on Friday by FIFA for the competition, Garba says his players would go all out to make names for themselves in the competition.

The Golden Eaglets will be up against several overseas stars on parade for Hungary and Australia in the first round of the Under-17 World Cup in Brazil.

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The Eaglets begin their World Cup campaign on October 26 against Hungary, who have as many as seven players who are not based in their own country.

These Hungary overseas stars include goalkeeper Krisztian Hegyi, who is on the books of West Ham in England, defender Botond Balogh from Parma and Red Bull Salzburg midfielder Samuel Major.

The others are Andras Nemeth (Genk/Belgium), Mark Kosznovszky (Parma/Italy), Rajmund Molnar (Benfica/Portugal) and Csaba Mester (Austria Vienna).

The Eaglets Group B foes Australia have three players who already do not play their football in their home country.

They are Tristan Shane Hammond (Striker/Sporting Lisbon/Portugal), Noah Vinko Botic (Striker/Hoffenheim/Germany) and Caleb Watts (Midfielder/Southampton/England).

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Garba praised the character and fighting spirit of his team after they overcame logistical nightmare and going a goal behind to beat South Korea 4-2 in a U17 World Cup warm-up.

“The boys showed character after we had to travel for more than two hours to play the game against Korea and we also had to come from 2-1 down to win the game,” Manu saluted.

However, the coach said he will still need to work on his defence and how they deal with set pieces before the World Cup kicks off on October 26.

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