After their victory over the Junior Swallows, the NFF chief is confident of the team’s ability to soar very high in Niger Republic
First Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi is pleased with Nigeria’s flying start at the U20 Africa Cup of Nations in Niger Republic.
After a cagey first half, goals from Nazifi Yahaya and Maxwell Effiom silenced Burundi 2-0 in Niamey to lead Group A after the first round of games.
In his assessment of the encounter, the football administrator is satisfied with the performance of the seven-time African champions over a physical Joslin Bipfubusa’s team, while giving Sonderjyske’s Yahaya a special mention.
“It’s a very good start for the Flying Eagles; the first match is usually difficult in every tournament,” Akinwunmi told Goal.
“We dominated the first half but the goals did not just come on time, so I’m very glad we were able to surmount them.
“I also feel quite good that Nazifi [Yahaya] scored because you recall a couple of years ago, I led them to South Africa for an U17 tournament and they have all become my children and I’ve told him to keep his head down and work. It’s beginning to show forth.”
Paul Aigbogun’s lads face South Africa in their next game on Tuesday with victory handing them a ticket to the 2019 U20 Fifa World Cup in Poland.
Amajita are in dire need of a win after their uninspiring 1-1 draw with hosts Niger Republic, however, Akinwunmi is not losing sleep owing to the depth of quality in the Flying Eagles.
“For me, I’m always optimistic because I believe there is no African team that should beat Nigeria, I mean that from the bottom of my heart,” he continued.
“The coach is experienced and the boys have the talent so I do think South Africa can touch us.
“I’ve spoken to the coach and I have told him that this is just one tournament and I’m not going to support anyone who says we should sack him if we fail to win the title. Going forward, we need to get the U15, U17 and U20 coaches together and I believe it will help them to work together.”