2nd October, 2016
Coach Bala Nikyu on Saturday said fear was the crucial point in his side’s 0-1 loss to Brazil in their opening match at the 2016 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup.
Nikyu said this at the post-match briefing for the Group C game at Amman in Jordan.
“Because of the name Brazil has in football, I think my players were frightened and didn’t settle to play the way we know they can.
“Against another team, I’m sure they would have relaxed more and played better,’’ he said.
The coach however conceded that the loss was not unusual and the focus now should be on the next match.
“The first match in any competition is always difficult. We have played and lost and I see no point in being too hard on my goalkeeper and defence.
“My focus will be on getting ready and making preparations for our next match,’’ he said.
The Flamingoes will next take on England on Tuesday in Zarqa.
Luizao, the Brazil coach, saw his side’s victory as a great achievement, even though he believed it was deserved.
“I always had high expectations for this match even though Nigeria are a great team. I trust in my team and we have been working for three years together, improving all the time.
“To win against a team like Nigeria is a great achievement. They attacked us strongly towards the end of the match but my defence handled the high balls very well and my goalkeeper also played well.
“The result makes us pretty proud and we were all very happy in the dressing room there. It will also increase our confidence for the tough matches ahead,’’ he said.