Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets are talking tough ahead of Friday’s final group game against Croatia at the ongoing FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile.
With two wins in two games, the Eaglets are already through to the Round of 16 but feelers from the Eaglets show that the Nigerian lads are not planning to take it easy at all with the Croats who incidentally stopped them at the Suwon Tournament.
As recent as September 6, Croatia beat Nigeria 3-2 in an acrimonious encounter at the 2015 Suwon U-17 Invitational Tournament in Korea but the Golden Eaglets reckoned it would be payback time on Friday.
“We were unlucky against Croatia in Suwon because we were leading them 2-1 until few minutes to the end of the match,” recalled defender John Lazarus.
“They got a penalty to equalize and the winning goal later and that stopped us from winning the tournament .
“We won’t allow that to happen against us on Friday and we will work harder to win,” added the diminutive defender who was in the U-13 National Team that won the London International Youth Tournament in 2010.
Midfielder David Enogela who made his international bow at the youth level against Croatia in Suwon after coming on as a second half substitute for captain Kelechi Nwakali, said the Golden Eaglets must be at their best against the combative Europeans.
“We saw in Suwon how physical they (Croatia) can play and I agree with Lazarus that they were unlucky to have beaten us ,” he said. “We are going to ensure that they don’t beat us on Friday and that means we have to be at our best, because they need the result more than us. ”
The two matches in Group A would be played simultaneously on Friday at 12:00 midnight Nigerian time( 8:00pm local Chilean time) with the three other teams needing a win to have a realistic chance of progressing to the Round of 16 along with Nigeria.