Nigeria’s U-17 team, Golden Eaglets on Wednesday recorded an impressive 5-2 win in a practice match against hard-battling Villa View Hotels FC at the Karkanda Stadium in Katsina.
Golden Eaglets’ Captain Kelechi Nwakali and striker Victor Osimhen shared four goals equally between themselves and there was a goal also for striker Orji Okonkwo while Victor Udoh and Efenile James scored for the visitors.
The victory against the Calabar-based side which incidentally was Golden Eaglets’ 44th domestic friendly match coincided with Coach Emeka Amadi, the Golden Eaglets’ goalkeeper’s trainer’s 43rd birthday
“I’m really happy with the performance of our boys and for giving me a good birthday present,” said Amadi, former youth international who won silver medal with the Flying Eagles at the 1989 FIFA U-20 World Youth Championship in Saudi Arabia.
“We (technical crew) are very impressed because the players were able to express and translate some of the things they have learnt in practice and this was a good match.”
Yet it was the visitors that went in front in the sixth minute when Udoh shot a lively angular shot beyond goalkeeper Suleiman Abdullahi. However, Osimhen equalized ten minutes later which was followed with a brace in the 26th and 37th minute by Nwakali as the Emmanuel Amuneke-led side raced to a 3-1 lead in the first half. Osimhen added another goal in the 59th minute but was later sent off for poor conduct.
Substitute Okonkwo scored with sublime ease for the Golden Eaglets in the 84th minute following a through pass from the midfield while Gavi Thompson ballooned the ball over the bar from the penalty spot in the 88th minute. Nevertheless, Villa View Hotels’ lads were not done as James nodded the ball beyond goalkeeper Suleiman to reduce the tally to 5-2.
An impressed Amuneke said it was not yet Uhuru for the 35 players battling to make the Golden Eaglets’ final list 0f 21 players for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, adding the team still need more top friendly matches to ascertain their readiness for the task ahead.