Garba Lawal hails ‘fantastic’ Nigeria U17 despite semi-final loss to Guinea U17

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The Golden Eaglets failed to advance into the final of the tournament after losing on penalties, but the 44-year-old is pleased with their displays

Garba Lawal has praised Nigeria U17 despite losing 10-9 on penalties to Guinea U17 in the semi-finals of the 2019 U17 Africa Cup of Nations.

After the match ended goalless, the game proceeded into penalty shoot-out where Ogaga Oduko missed his kick to deny the Golden Eaglet their fifth appearance in the final of the tournament.

Manu Garba’s boys started the competition on a thrilling note with two wins and one draw, as they finished as Group A leaders and booked their ticket to the World Cup in Brazil.

The former Super Eagles winger is impressed with the Golden Eaglets’ displays in the competition and he is hopeful they will perform better in the youth global tournament.

“I am happy with the performance of the players and the coach, kudos to them, they did well,” Lawal told Goal.

“The boys have been fantastic they have been playing good football which is good for the game. The boys did their best. In every tournament, every team wants to win but only one team eventually gets the crown; that is football.

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“Anybody can win penalties, sometimes you win and some other times the result is not forthcoming you just have to accept that.

“But the most important thing is that we have qualified for the World Cup. I believe if they have noticed any areas that need to be improved on they will go back to the drawing board to readjust before the World Cup and I believe they will do better in the World Cup.”

The Golden Eaglets will meet the loser of the game between Cameroon and Angola in the third and fourth place play-off.

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