The Nigeria U 17 team, the Golden Eaglets will be going all out against their Brazilian counterparts on Sunday night as they target a berth in the semi finals of the ongoing Cadet Championships in Chile.
The Golden Eaglets showed how much they desired a fifth FIFA U17 World Cup as they thrashed Australia 6-0 in their Round of 16 tie to set up a date with the Brazilians.
Though the Eaglets are expected to get a tougher test in the Brazil team; the thinking of many is that the Nigerian lads have what it takes to emerge victorious on Sunday in the crucial game scheduled for Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar, Chile.
Jonathan Akpoborie, a former Nigeria international who coincidentally has also won the U17 World Cup in the early stage of his football career both agree that the Eaglets can soar past Brazil into the semi finals but with a caveat that the Nigeria team must be careful against the tactically sound South Americans.
Akpoborie advised the Golden Eaglets to approach the game like a cup final, saying Brazil is not in the class of teams that should be handled without proper preparation and quality technical strategies.
“It is always difficult to play Brazil and everybody expects the Golden Eaglets to win on Sunday. One thing I will say is that we are going to win but nobody should expect the team to beat Brazil the same way they beat Australia or Chile, it will be tight but I see Nigeria winning,”
Expectedly, the Golden Eaglets coach Emmanuel Amuneke has also been speaking ahead of the crucial match and he posits that his team remains one of the candidates to lift the top prize in Chile same way Brazil are also regarded as favourites.
“We are candidates to win the title, but so are Brazil. We will work to put up a good fight. We have seen the stuff they are made of but it would be a totally different ball game on Sunday because this is a World Cup match and not a friendly match or a pre-World Cup tournament.”
When Nigeria and Brazil met at a pre tournament game ; the Suwon 4-Nation Invitational Championship in South Korea , the Eaglets had the upper hand, beating the Brazilians 2-1, but Coach Amuneke was quick to downplay this victory, saying the World Cup is a different ball game.