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Football | African U20 Youth Champs

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Eaglets too proud against Elephants

Prime FC coach, Yekini Ayodeji has said Nigeria's Golden Eaglets paid the prize of pride in their Group B Matchday 2 encounter against Cote d Ivoire at the ongoing Africa Under-17 Championship in Morocco.

The Nigerians who have maintained 100% record previously in all competitive matches were piped 0-1 by the more purposeful Ivorians in Marrakech on Wednesday.

Ayodeji said Eaglets allowed the group's opening 6-1 win against Ghana's Black Starlets to overwhelmed them as they failed completely to offer the vital challenge to the more enterprising Ivorians.

"I think after the 6-1 win against Ghana they're already looking at themselves as champions even before the championship ends and they paid dearly for it.

"They're lackadaisical throughout the encounter and never created not to talk of converting any chance at goal.

"Their approach in today's (Wednesday) game was 100% wrong. Its so bad that you're tempted to ask whether this was same team that overran Ghana. The Ivorians were clearly the better of both sides.

"Thank God this wasn't the knockout stage, good too, it happened now there is room for correction if not it would've been a complete disaster," he said to supersport.com.

Ayodeji said Eaglets must go all out to grab a win in its group's last game against Congo to cement a spot in the World Cup party.

"What happened in the tie against Cote d Ivoire is a big lesson and I hope they've learnt from it.

"Of course, they must go all out to win against Congo to guarantee passage to the semifinals as well as the World Cup.

"Though draw may still see them through to the last four but they must be mindful of the head to head rule in case they tied on points with Cote d' Ivoire. So the way around it is to win against Congo.

"They didn't create chance at goal against the Ivorians so they must rediscover their goalscoring ability when they face Congo at the weekend," he said.

Nigeria has lost the group's top spot to Cote d' Ivoire and must defeat Congo on Saturday to be certain of progression into the next stage of the biennial cadet football fiesta.

The semifinalists at the Morocco 2013 CAN Under-17 event will qualify to represent Africa at the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the months of October and November.


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