MANU Garba, coach of Flying Eagles of Nigeria, on Thursday, June 11, said his wards had learnt a lot from the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand, after crashing out in the round of 16. The Nigerian side lost 0-1 to Germany in their encounter in Christchurch on Thursday, June 11, to exit the competition.
Nonetheless, Garba said the whole competition had been a big lesson to the team, especially in not losing concentration when it mattered. “The level at the under-20s is far higher than at the under-17s, and Germany is a very tough and highly tactical team. Our players lost concentration at the crucial moment and this gave the Germans a chance to score,’’ Garba said at the post-match news conference.
The coach nonetheless praised Joshua Enaholo, goalkeeper, saying he had a great game. He also commended other players. “All my players have been in great form and I am proud of them all,’’ he said.
Looking back at the competition as a whole, the Nigerian coach said there had been so many unexpected results at the tournament, and one could never predict the winner.
Speaking also, Frank Wormuth, coach of Germany, said he admired the Nigerian side, especially as they were very good technically, which made them extremely difficult to play against. He, however, said his team was able to keep up the pressure and they utilised their only chance to break through the Nigerian defence.
Germany will in the quarter-final on Sunday, June 14, take on Mali, who had earlier beaten Ghana in the round of 16.
— Jun 22, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT