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Flying Eagles zoom into Q-final

Posted by By John Egbokhan on 2005/06/22 | Views: 304 |

Flying Eagles zoom into Q-final

The Flying Eagles yesterday beat Ukraine 1-0 to progress into the quarterfinal of the World Youth Championships holding in The Netherlands.

The Flying Eagles yesterday beat Ukraine 1-0 to progress into the quarterfinal of the World Youth Championships holding in The Netherlands.

The Samson Siasia-tutored boys, who have suddenly become the toast of football fans in the country, after the Super Eagles fumbled to a 1-1 draw in Kano last weekend, staved off much pressure from a resilient Ukrainian side, that barely threatened goalkeeper, Ambrose Vanzekin, but defended in numbers.

The defensive strategy of the Ukrainian side, almost paid off but for Taiye Taiwo’s lone strike 10 minutes from full time. The strike had from the onset appeared harmless but ended in the net of Ukraine, beating an helpless goalkeeper Leonid Musin, who had kept Eagles’ attackers at bay, on previous situations.

The goal scored by Taiwo reminded many of the life saver he netted against Ivory Coast in the last group match at the African Youth Championships in Benin Republic, back in January.

It would not be out of place to state that the Ukrainians, propelled by Oleksandr Aliiev of Dynamo Kiev came into the match to foil Eagles attacking forays, rather than score, not that they did not attack but they were feeble attempts that did not even threaten Vanzekin, who stood between Eagles’ posts.

Parading players from local club Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine, were not in Eagles’ class, spiced with some foreign-based players like John Mikel Obi, Chinedu Ogbuike, Taiye Taiwo, to mention just a few. But at this stage of the tournament, big names count for nothing and so the Eagles recognised this point in their approach to the match.

Though they wasted a few chances, like the lame shot from Ogbuike in the 36th minute, these boys of Siasia, never left anyone in doubt, as to which side was on the ascendancy and looked like scoring.

Despite the yellow cards flashed on Kennedy Chinwo, Taiye Taiwo and John Mikel Obi, the boys never allowed it to weigh them down as they battled to score and qualify to face either Holland or Chile, whose results are still being expected at the time of this report.

Morocco, Africa’s other representative left in the Championship, had earlier qualified for the quarter Tuesday with the same 1-0 scoreline against Japan. Yesterday Argentina came back from a goal down to outscore Colombia 2-1 and also book a quarterfinal place.

At the end of the match, Siasia said “before the match we knew that we would have to put a lot of pressure on the Ukraine team.
“I was on my feet shouting at my defenders to concentrate on them all match long. Our preparation was not great for this tournament so it is a bit of a miracle that we’ve come so far. Now we are just hoping to keep getting better with every match and see how far we can go.”

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Comments (1)

Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.