Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria/Mali: African U-17 Championship Qualifier - Eaglets Feeling the Heat in Bamako

Photo: Steven Depolo/Flckr.com
Soccer balls.

Golden Eaglets chief coach, Manu Garba admitted that pressure is getting to his team ahead of today's African Under-17 Championship qualifier against Mali in Bamako.

The Eaglets are up against a physical Malian side that have won their games at home with a wide margin and they are hopeful of canceling the 2-0 advantage held by the Nigerian lads from the first leg in Calabar. Coach Garbu, stated that the match will be a test of his team's character adding that it will be the hardest game of their campaign to qualify for the Morocco 2013 Championship.

"The game against Mali on Sunday is our biggest match and we are confident that we will do all our best to win," said Manu in Bamako.

"Whatever we are going through now cannot be compared with our collective efforts over the last months as such we must be extra focused now," said the coach.

Defender Wilfred Ndidi expressed optimism that the Eaglets will emerge unscratched from the game despite the seeming hard conditions.

"We know the challenges before us and by the grace of God, we shall overcome Mali on Sunday," said defender Wilfred Ndidi, who has played every minute of the Eaglets last five matches.

"The weather in Bamako is hot but it can't be compared with what we had in Niger (Niamey)."

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