...Lawal, Ugbade Warn F/Eagles


As the Flying Eagles of Nigeria get set to take on England later today in Armenia at the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia, two former youth internationals, Dimeji Lawal and Nduka Ugbade, have advised the players not to give room for complacency if they want to go beyond the Round of 16 of the tournament.


The coach John Obuh-led side will battle England for a semi final ticket and Lawal, who was part of the Saudi ’89 World Youth Championship, WYC, squad that lost the final of that edition to Portugal, believes the Flying Eagles have the potentials to win the trophy if they can play as a team.


“They are a good side no doubt about that, considering the results they have recorded so far. Therefore, I don’t see the English team that have failed to win a single match at the tourney posing a major threat to the Flying Eagles’s ambition to qualify for the quater final.


“I would advise the team, including the coaching crew, not to be carried away with their success so far.


“They must take each game seriously by not underrating any of their opponents. The tourney has reached the knock out stage and any mistake could be costly.


“We have good players who can hold their own against some of the best in the world and I believe they can bring the trophy home if they play according to the instructions of their coaches,” Lawal, who played for Nigeria at the 1987 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Canada, said.


Ugbade, who was a member of the China ‘85 squad that won the U-17 World Cup for the country, said the Flying Eagles have the same qualities they had in the China tourney then, hence his confident Nigeria will perform well at the championship.


“The team have been playing together consistently, graduating from the Golden Eaglets in 2009 to the Flying Eagles.


“With the kind of understanding among them as a team, the players’ ability to score early goals and the individual talents in the team, I’ve the confidence that the Flying Eagles will go beyond the Round of 16.


My advice to the players is not play to the gallery or be over confident of winning any match.”


— Bamidele Olowosagba

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