The camp of the U-17 national team, Golden Eaglets in Brazil has been much energized by the words of love and encouragement by President Muhammadu Buhari. The players are looking to qualify for the competition’s Round of 16 when they play Ecuador this evening in Goiania.
The President on Sunday congratulated the boys for the 4-2 lashing of Hungary in their opening match on Saturday, which put them at the top of Group B on goals difference ahead of Ecuador, 2-1 winners over Australia.
In a statement released by presidential aide, Garba Shehu, President Buhari, under whose watch as Nigeria’s leader the Golden Eaglets won the first of their five world titles (as military Head of State in 1985) and their most recent one (as civilian President in 2015), expressed confidence in the ability of the Eaglets to win a sixth title in Brazil.
“It was a wonderful display that I am very proud of. You showed that there is nothing that cannot be achieved with determination and perseverance. I have followed your journey leading to your arrival in Brazil for the competition. I have equally noted your determination and confidence throughout your preparations.
“I have no doubt in my mind that you are determined to win the competition for an unparalleled sixth time.”
Indeed, perseverance, persistence, and determination characterized the Eaglets’ 4-2 win over Hungary, as they pushed and pushed until they got three goals in six minutes in the second half to turn the game on its head.
Today’s top-of-the-table clash with Ecuador at the same Estadio Olimpico, starting at 9.00 p.m. Nigeria time, promises to be explosive, with both teams aware that victory would mean an early slot in the championship’s Round of 16.
Captain Samson Tijani told thenff.com yesterday: “We are very happy to have seen the congratulatory messages by Mr. President. Our morale has been lifted even higher, and we will go into the match against Ecuador with greater determination to win.”