Monday, 9 November 2015

Amuneke - "We changed some things that brought us more safety in our game,”

Head coach of Nigeria’s U-17 team, Emmanuel Amuneke, has revealed that the changes he made in the second half is the reason they won against Mali.

The Golden Eaglets defeated the African champions 2-0 in the final, to win their fifth U-17 World Cup on Monday morning.

“We wanted to make no mistakes but we lost the ball many times in the midfield in the first half. But I don’t want to complain because they are all kids. We changed some things in the second half and made some substitutions. That brought us more safety in our game,” Amuneke said.

“We are thankful for everything. We wanted to bring the players to their dreams and we did it. Thanks for the support. We feel like we are at home. We have worked very hard for this success and we hope to continue. The players will go home now but their journey is not over yet.

“Personally I’m really happy. I have football in my blood, as a player and as a coach. This is what I want to pass to my players.“

Coach of the Malians, Baye Ba, insisted that he is proud of his team’s achievement at Chile 2015 and admits it was tough against the Nigerians.

“It is the first time Mali reached the final. If you believe that you can win a game, then you are sad when you lose. Nevertheless we can be very proud. Not many teams reached the second place,” he remarked.

“It was a tough match. Nigeria were well-placed and we often acted very unorganised. We didn’t pay attention twice and conceded two goals. It is how it is. One team wins because the other team makes mistakes.

“Our goal is to have a senior team who can win. We will continue our work. Everything is installed in our youth programmes so that we will reach another final in the future.”

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