We are not yet there, Garba insists
• Elegbeleye, Glo hail team
Flying Eagles coach, Manu Garba, maintains his team is still not the best at the 2015 African Youth Championship (AYC) despite winning two straight games and racking up seven goals.
The Nigeria U-20 team became the first team to qualify for the 2015 Junior World Cup in New Zealand after they tallied six points from two matches.
They will face Cote d’Ivoire in a final Group A match tomorrow in Mbour to determine the overall leaders of the group.
However, Manu said his team would only be regarded as the best when they win a seventh AYC title on March 22.
“We have done very well so far, but we can only be the best team of the competition when we win it,” he said.
“We have some very good sides like Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, so we cannot afford to be complacent.
“The target now is to take the trophy back to Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Gbenga Elegbeleye and telecommunications outfit, Globacom, have commended the Flying Eagles for qualifying for the U- 20 World Cup.
Elegbeleye, who had earlier tipped the team to win the AYC, still reiterated his confidence in the team to come back with the trophy.
“I said it when the team was going to Senegal that they have the quality and the talents not only to do well in the championship, but to also win the trophy. I would say they have not disappointed me so far. I want them not to rest on their oars until the Trophy is won for a record seventh time. I know they can do it.
“I sincerely thank the team and their coaches led by Manu Garba for doing the nation proud by winning the FIFA U- 20 World Cup ticket having beaten Congo 4-1 on Wednesday to achieve this feat. The National Sports Commission will honour them like we have been doing to other victorious team if they win this competition,” Elegbeleye assured.
Also congratulating the Flying Eagles, Globacom said the team has all it takes to surmount the challenge of their opponents, advising it to concentrate and keep working towards winning the trophy.
“Nigeria has the ability to retain the trophy and we believe the players are equal to the task,” the statement added.
Globacom commended the fighting spirit of the young Nigerians who, despite losing a player to red card in the first half still when ahead and defeated the Congolese by 4-1.