Michael Onyemachara: Flying Eagles only playing to sell themselves

The former youth international believes that the Nigeria U20 team failed to play with the right attitude against the Americans

Michael Onyemachara, a member of the Nigeria U20 team at the 1989 Fifa U20 World Cup in Saudi Arabia has criticized the display of the Flying Eagles in Monday’s second group game against the United States in Poland.

The Flying Eagles crushed their Qatari counterparts 4-0 in their group opener at the 2019 Fifa U20 World Cup but they were made to look ordinary in the 2-0 defeat against the Yanks.

According to Onyemachara, who was in the squad that denied the USA a place in the final of the 1989 cadet World Cup, the present Flying Eagles are preoccupied with selling themselves rather than playing as a team to get results.

“Actually, I will not just open up and say I am disappointed, I am not happy because the kind of impression they gave to people was not encouraging,” Onyemachara told Goal in an exclusive interview.

“I don’t know whether to call it overexcitement because they beat Qatar 4-0, I think It really affected them, they paid dearly for laxity against USA.

“The victory over Qatar probably entered into their head and they did not put up their best performance against the USA.

“After that victory, they felt like they have arrived, I was expecting that after they won the first match, they would all give their best to at least get a draw in the second game and go for broke in the third game.”

Onyemachara underlined the difference between his Flying Eagles team and the 2019 class.

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“Comparing this set of Flying Eagles to our own set, we did not have any special player but we played as a team for the love of our country but these ones are playing to sell themselves individually and it is affecting their overall performance as a team.” 

“The attack of the Flying Eagles lacked bite and that was bad, if they had played together as a team, I believe the worst result they would have gotten against the USA was a draw.

“Now they are in a tight corner and must get it right against Ukraine or they would be kicked out.”