–As Gabonese coach bows
In a post match analysis after his side’s thrilling 5-0 whitewash of mouthful Gabon at the U.J Esuene Stadium in Calabar at the weekend, Golden Eaglets’ coach Emmanuel Amuneke has nothing but huge praises for his fledging side.
Comparison between the current Golden Eaglets and their 2013 FIFA World Cup-winning predecessors is inevitable but the 1994 African Footballer of the Year has awarded pass marks to his wards.
“Frankly, It is an important moment for us today because there had been a lot of tension in the air,” he said.
“Being the defending champions and losing 2-1 to Gabon (in Libreville), a lot of people lost faith but we thank God that we were able to take our chances against them today.”
Amuneke expressed satisfaction after the Golden Eaglets who had suffered a humiliating 2-1 defeat amidst claims of biased officiating under an unfriendly sporting environment in Libreville, ran riots against the visitors in Calabar He said: “I told the boys that we should take the game to them and that was exactly what we did. And we have to thank God for making it possible for us to take those chances we created.
“I’m happy for the boys and grateful to Nigerians for the confidence they deposited in us and all what we have to do is continue to work and have the confidence to progress.”
He was also full of praise for striker Ebere Osinachi who grabbed a brace despite making the starting line- up for the first time as he perfectly filled the void created by the absence of top marksman, Victor Osihmen who got a controversial red card in Libreville.
Meanwhile, Gabonese U-17 official, Owono Essono, admitted that he lost to superior side after the Golden Eaglets overturned a 2-1 loss to seal the qualification for Niger 2015.
He explained: “It was a very good game but we actually came here with the mind to play well. Our team is young and it was difficult for them to play here because it was difficult to play against Nigeria here.