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Nigeria set to shock Holland

Posted by Everest Onyewuchi on 2005/06/25 | Views: 306 |

Nigeria set to shock Holland


This is the moment to define the Flying Eagles of Nigeria, coached by Samson Siasia, as they confront the hosts, Netherlands, today in a quarterfinals match of the ongoing 15th World Youth Championship.

This is the moment to define the Flying Eagles of Nigeria, coached by Samson Siasia, as they confront the hosts, Netherlands, today in a quarterfinals match of the ongoing 15th World Youth Championship.

The game in which the Nigeria Under-20 team are expected to shock their opponents will be played in the 19,500 capacity Parkstad Limburg Stadium that was built five years ago in the city of Kerkrade, beginning from 2.30p.m.

Kerkrade, with a population of 50,050 is described as a city of “music, sculpture, culture and football.”

Among the millions of Nigerians praying for the victory of the Eagles in this expected tough match are the sports journalists accredited by FIFA to cover the championship, but who the Dutch Embassy in Abuja denied entry visas.

The Nigerian team blow hot and cold, an inconsistency that is worrying their fans, who expect them to raise their game in order to secure a semi-final ticket.

Nigeria began the quest for the trophy on June 12 with a highly tactical and technical game against Brazil, ended in a barren draw. And when everybody thought that they would overrun their next opponent, South Korea, the Flying Eagles gave away an initial one goal lead and conceded two goals in four minutes that ensured victory for the Asians.

They, however, rallied back in their last Group F match and defeated Switzerland comprehensively with three unreplied goals and thus, qualified for the round of 16.

On Wednesday, the Flying Eagles were not too aggressive upfront but they overcame the opposition mounted by their Ukrainian opponents and have Olympique Marseille’s overlapping defender, Taye Taiwo, to thank for the lob that earned them the right for this showdown with the Netherlands.

The hosts, on their part, have been scoring freely, starting from their first game against Japan, which they won 2-1 and followed by a 3-0 defeat of Australia and 1-0 win over Benin Republic.

In their second round match on Wednesday, Netherlands walloped Chile 3-0 to set the stage for the cracker against Nigeria today.

Flying Eagles’ coach, Siasia, knows that his team have a hell of a match against the hosts. He told fifa.com that “The game against Holland will be a difficult game for us, but also for them. Holland are a very good team and have not conceded many goals. But my defenders have been playing brilliantly as well. Since losing concentration in our second game (against Korea), we have not conceded a goal either.”

Nigeria’s game plan is to put power and spirit in the match, especially in the attack. Said Siasia, “We need to take more of our chances. A good striker creates chances, but a perfect striker finishes off those chances. We need our strikers to get a little closer to that kind of production. Once our strikers start to click and begin finishing their chances, we are going to be a mean team. This game against Holland is make-or-break and we have no intention of going home after coming this far.”

While Nigeria’s attackers, David Abwo, Solomon Okoronkwo and Chinedu Ogbuke go for the goals, their goalkeeper, Ambrose Vanzekin, and defenders will have their hands full stopping the expected onslaught from Holland’s Ghanaian-born Quincy Owusu of Arsenal and the pair of Ryan Babel of Ajax and Collins John of Fulham.

Saturday Punch, June 25, 2005

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.