Golden Eaglets shocked by Diamond Academy ahead of African U-17 qualifier

President of Diamond Academy, Prince Martin Apugo has hailed his teamafter they came from behind to beat the Golden Eaglets 2-1 in a friendly match.

The Umuahia-based Academy on Wednesday at the NFF\FIFA Goal ProjectPitch in Abuja came back from a first half deficit to record theirfirst ever win against the national U-17 side. Eaglets’ CaptainAbduljabar Sani scored the opener for Garba’s wards in the seventhminute but George Chukwuemeka and Ugonna Onwuamaeze struck in the 61stand 85th minutes much to the delight of Diamond Academy supporters inthe crowd.

“We are happy because this is our first win against the nationalteam,” an excited President of Diamond Academy, Prince Martin Apugotold thenff.com. “But be that as it may, it was a good match for bothof us because we have both seen areas we need to improve on and thiswill give the national team coaches the opportunity to pluck allloopholes before travelling for the match against Niger Republic.”

Apugo went further: “Of course, we are happy that we have been able todefeat the Golden Eaglets eventually today and we hope this wouldserve as a tonic and motivate them to beat the Nigeriens in theirupcoming African U-17 qualifier, and our prayers are with them as theyhead to Niamey.”

Golden Eaglets Head Coach, Manu Garba described his team’s loss to Diamond, famous Academy who have produced the likes of Samuel Chukwueze and Kelechi Nwakali, as a rude awakening.

Speaking in the same vein as Prince Apugo, Coach Garba said the matchwas a good test for his side who must avoid a defeat in Niamey nextweek following last Saturday’s 1-0 win against the Junior Menas: “Wehave to take some positives away from the defeat to Diamond becausethey were forceful and they gave us stiff opposition.

“Though we lost 2-1, we were able to test some new players indifferent positions because we need to ascertain their fitness beforepicking the final team for the match against Niger. We still have workto do especially on the finishing line before the return leg in Niameyand by the grace of God, we shall come out unscathed and qualify forthe next stage of the qualifying series.”