Chile Coach, Miguel Ponce has described the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria as a good team that know what it takes to beat their opponents in a crucial match.
Ponce stated this after his side fell 1-5 to the Eaglets in the second group match of the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile in the early hours of Wednesday.
Holders Nigeria continued their impressive start to their World Cup title defence by completing a comprehensive victory over hosts Chile and progressing to the knockout stages in the process.
Coach Ponce said after the match that the Nigerian lads overwhelmed his boys and took the game out of their hands.
“I told the kids: Nigeria respected us more than the result shows. They took measures to avoid us playing quickly, they knew to wait for us and scored after patient plays, they did not keep us in our goal for the whole game. It is true there were physical differences, especially when it came to speed, but it is also true we were not able to finish off the situations we created. Against a good team, they don’t forgive you,” Ponce told FIFA website.
While applauding the performance of his team, Nigeria Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke said the Eaglets played to instructions and mentally prepared for the tie, hence the overwhelming scoreline.
“It is true we were effective up front, but we also knew how to block their passing game, forcing them to play uncomfortably in the midfield. My players understood the transition game, that is when to attack, when to defend. We also prepared them mentally, it is not easy to play against the host. Chile has a god team, but today they lost against the best team. I believe they can qualify for the next round,” Amuneke said.
A goal within 30 seconds by star man Samuel Chukwueze set the tone for a straightforward win, with the diminutive No. 8 grabbing a second in the second half after he had earlier been fouled for Kelechi Nwakali to score from the spot, and before he was felled for Victor Osimhen’s successful spot kick conversion.
Chile grabbed a consolation, before Funsho Bamgboye saw his marching orders, with Osimhen’s late header adding some gloss to the win, despite Nwakali missing his second penalty of the match after Chukwueze had been fouled in the penalty area for a third time.
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