Nigeria U17 team coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, has been relishing the feat of successfully defending the U17 World Cup title following his team’s early Monday morning victory over Mali in the final of the 16th FIFA U17 World Cup, Chile 2015.
Amuneke reiterates that it’s a dream come true, for his lads, and he is absolutely happy to have nurtured them up to achieve the historic goal for Nigeria.
“It was a beautiful and entertaining match. I think the people in the stadium enjoyed it today. We knew that Mali are technically very strong, have great individual players and are very fast,” Fifa.com quotes Amuneke, a former Nigeria international as saying about the explosive match with African champions Mali.
“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 substitutes. That brought us more safety in our game.
“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.“
Mali coach, Baye admits that his team lost the U17 World Cup title to the Nigerians who were more organised on the night.
“It was a tough match. Nigeria was well-placed and we often acted very unorganised. We didn’t pay attention twice and conceded two goals. It is how it is,” a disconsolate Ba remarks.
“One team wins because the other team makes mistakes. 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 reach the second place. Our goal is to have a senior team who can win. We will continue our work. Everything is installed in our youth programs so that we will reach another final in the future.”