Golden Eaglets’ captain, Kelechi Nwakali, was adjudged the Most Valuable Man of Niger 2015 African U 17 Championship after his stellar performance in the middle of the pack helped Nigeria to a 2-0 win against host, Niger on Sunday.
Nwakali capped an outstanding performance with a well-struck goal in the 30th minute of the encounter after Victor Osimhen had given the Golden Eaglets a 17th minute leaded earlier.
” I’m so happy today because this was my first time of leading out the team in a big tournament and I want to thank my teammates also, ” began Nwakali, younger brother of Chidiebere Nwakali who was a member of the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup winning team.” This was a good start for us and we would continue to work very hard in the coming days.”
Speaking further, Nwakali said he had only one person in mind when he struck the ball into the net and has singled out Coach Emmanuel Amuneke for special praise, adding he had long been practicing such free kick for some time now.
“I’m dedicating the goal to coach Amuneke who has really helped me to improve my skill especially in taking free kicks,” he said. ” This was not the first time I’m scoring this kind of goal that I had against Niger but all thanks to the coaches especially Amuneke for having so much belief in us.
“Above all, I want to thank God for the gift he has given to me and I would continue to do my best,” he added. Amuneke praises Eaglets after 2-0 win Golden Eaglets Head Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, has hailed the players for a perfect start at the 11th African Under-17 Championship after they beat host Niger 2-0 at the Stade Général Seyni Kountché (SGSK) in Niamey.
Victor Osimhen and Kelechi Nwakali scored in the first half to secure Nigeria the maximum three points and a place at the top of the group that also has Zambia and Guinea. The former African Footballer of the Year said he was impressed with the overall performance of the players even as he admitted there is still room for the team’s improvement.
“I want to congratulate the players for a job well done,” he told thenff.com “Playing against the host team for these boys was always going to be difficult but I’m happy they were able to translate our match strategy.”
He went further to hail the impact of players like Awual Saddam , Christian Charles, Uko Anietie who had their bow for the Golden Eaglets against Niger :” The new boys did well and we need to commend them and I think they can get better because our objective coming to Niger was to qualify for the World Cup in Chile.”
The Golden Eaglets would return to Stade Général Seyni Kountché (SGSK) on Wednesday for their next game against Guinea and a win would guarantee them a ticket to the FIFA U-17 World Cup later this year.