Uruguay coach Fabian Coito admitted Nigeria were simply too good for his side after their 2-0 defeat in the quarter-finals of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup played on Saturday.
“The most dangerous side of their game is their rapid movement. We didn’t expect the goals and after the first, suddenly came a second. We tried all game but couldn’t find the goal.
Coito said: “Nigeria deserved this victory and they move to the next stage of this competition with a good chance. They have a strong team and players with very good skills for this age group.
“We wanted to go as far as possible in this competition not just the quarter-finals, but now we start preparation with these players for the next level of development, which is the U-20 national team.”
Joint-record three-time champions Nigeria will now play World Cup debutants Sweden in Tuesday’s semi-finals, a side with which they have already drawn 3-3 in the group stages of this competition.
Nigeria coach Manu Garba said: “I’ve always said these boys will get better as the tournament progresses and now Sweden must get ready to face more fireworks.
“We were 2-0 down to Sweden before pulling it back to 3-3 in the group stages. After beating Mexico 6-1 in the opening game, I told the boys not to be over confident and beat Sweden in order to get to the round of 16 straight from the second match, but we lost concentration. This will never happen again.”
“The players are upset as we didn’t expect to lose and we were playing to win, but we are going to learn from this and recover.
Of Nigeria’s loyal support, which had packed the Sharjah Stadium to see this victory, Garba added: “The most important thing is that the fans are getting their money’s worth. We are not only winning but entertaining. I believe they will motivate the boys to book their final ticket, the ultimate thing now is beating Sweden so we can go to the final.”
Asked if their World Cup would be deemed a failure unless they won the tournament, Garba said: “At Under-17 level, it’s not all about winning. This a development project so they form the nucleus of the future Under 20s. But we are here not only to participate, we are here to compete. We are progressing well and no-one can stand in front of the will of God.”
Taiwo Awoniyi scored one goal in either half from two Kelechi Iheanacho assists as an unusually docile Uruguay struggled to get the ball forward under a barrage of quick attacks from the Nigerians.
(Post From PM News)