President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Aminu Maigari has charged the Flying Eagles to continue to fly the country’s flag high at the u20 World Cup in Turkey.
“We are proud and impressed with what you showed in your last match against South Korea. It was your best performance in a long time. Maigari told the team on a “Thank You visit” to the team on Sunday morning.
“You just need to continue with the same spirit and remain focused now and then we will all have something to celebrate.”
The Flying Eagles will take on Uruguay on Tuesday night in Istanbul for the right to reach the quarterfinals and Maigari promised the team the continued total support of the federation.
“It is a game we have already won even though I also know that it will not be an easy game,” said the football chief, who was accompanied to the Flying Eagles Polat Hilton Hotel by NFF technical committee chairman Chris Green.
“We will continue to support and pray for you to make us all proud.”
Meanwhile, Coach of Mali, Moussa Keita has given Nigeria some tips ahead of their FIFA U20 World Cup Round of 16 clash against Uruguay on Tuesday in Istanbul.
Mali played out a 1-1 draw with the South Americans before the World Cup in Antalya and Keita said Nigeria could go ahead and beat Uruguyans to reach the last eight of the tournament.
“We played them in a friendly in Antalya before the World Cup. They are a good team and have a great forward in the No.9 (Diego Rolan), two great wingers and their central midfielder is also a key player because if he plays, the team plays too,” observed the Mali coach.
“But their biggest undoing is dealing with aerial balls whether from corners or free kicks. The goalkeeper is shaky and the defenders just do not know how to cope with high balls launched into their goal area.
“I believe if Nigeria can make use of this weakness they will advance to the next round of the competition.”
He added: “Please tell my good friend John Obuh that we are supporting them and that they are capable of making Africa proud in Turkey.”
Nigeria battled Mali twice at the African Youth Championship in Algeria in April.
Mali won a group game 1-0 before the Flying Eagles avenged this defeat with a 2-1 win to finish third at the AYC.
-Sola Rogers (Twitter – @solarogers)
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