The plan of the Nigeria Football Federation to get the Super Eagles B
exposed to high grade international games to improve their level of
confidence and aptitude remains in place, despite the defeat by
Mexico’s ‘A’ Team in Los Angeles on Saturday, President of the NFF, Mr
Amaju Melvin Pinnick has stated.
Pinnick, also a Member of the FIFA Council, has also counseled the
players to discountenance the high-score defeat and rather take to
heart the great lessons of the encounter, while embracing the fact
that they need such games to come to great stead and be able to
compete creditably at international level.
“There is nothing that has happened here that will discourage us from
pushing ahead with the plan we have for the team,” Pinnick said after
the match watched by an impressive 53,258 spectators inside the LA
Coliseum in the State of California. “Our programme to get the team to
a higher level through regular exposure to the toughest games possible
will continue apace.
“I believe the players gave their best in the encounter, and the
result could have been different if we didn’t concede those early
goals and we took our chances that came immediately after. The
difference was in greater experience and much more exposure, and
nothing stops our boys from standing up to the Mexicans with a number
of games under their belts in the next few months.”
Star –studded El Tri mined immense psychological advantage from
scoring two goals in the opening four minutes as Nigeria’s defenders
were still settling into the encounter. Livewire Anayo Iwuala muffed
an opportunity and tripped on another, and El Tri went ahead to score
two second half goals to wrap up the tie.
“I am strongly of the belief that the players should be commended for
their efforts in the game. They did not just lie down to be slaughtered.
They put up a fight and were only unlucky.
“We will go ahead and deliver on the programme we have for them to be
a much stronger team, as we look forward to the next African Nations
The squad could make a return to the USA in a few months as the
cooperation agreement between the NFF and the Government of State of
Maryland starts to take shape. Pinnick (on behalf of the NFF) and the
Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford (on behalf of the Government of
State of Maryland) last week signed a cooperation agreement based on
shared vision and shared values and with the pillar of mutual
understanding for rapid development.
The delegation of Super Eagles B is expected back in Nigeria on
Bronze medallists at the third edition of the CHAN in South Africa in
2014, the Super Eagles B won silver as runners-up at the fifth edition
in Morocco in 2018, but failed to qualify for the 2020 finals played
in Cameroon early this year as a result of the disruption to
international calendar by the global coronavirus pandemic.
The qualifying matches for the seventh edition of the CHAN, to be
staged in Algeria, are scheduled to begin before the end of the year.