By Taiwo Okanlawon
Former Nigerian football goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu has said he has strong conviction the Golden Eaglets are capable of beating Netherlands to reach the quarter-finals of the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup, Brazil 2019.
Speaking with newsmen, the former Super Eagles skipper also said the victory in tomorrow’s clash at Estadio Olimpico in Goiania won’t come easily.
The winners of this second round showdown will then come up against the winners of the tie between Argentina and Paraguay.
The Eaglets finished top of Group B standings, with six points and plus one goal while Netherlands finished third in Group D behind Japan and Senegal, and were rewarded with a Round of 16 berth as one of the best third-placed teams.
Shorunmu said, “I’ve strong confidence in this (Golden Eaglets) team. They have a potent strike force. Though they have been conceding goals, don’t forget that the best form of defence is attack.
“But that’s not saying there is no need to tighten up the defence.
“This is the crucial stage of the competition. This is that stage where the best of any team comes out and I’m sure the Eaglets will win because the team is good”.
“Any team that reaches the knockout stage of any competition must be good to have reached that stage.
“Of course, the Eaglets should not expect an easy game. Holland are not in Brazil for sightseeing.
“Don’t forget, they are European team who have a peculiar way of playing.
“We (Eaglets) should remain focused, avoid complacency and never to say, after all, Netherlands finished third in their group.
“It’s a game of equal numbers and on the balance quality and of course patriotism, Eaglets will win but it is going to be a tough match.”
in the same vein, ex-Golden Eaglets star Ganiyu Bolaji Oseni has advised the country’s team to remain focused, but should have no fear when they face back-to-back European champions in tomorrow’s clash.
Oseni, who won the FIFA U17 World Cup with Nigeria at Korea 2007, told SCORENigeria that he believes can again be world champions as the players are good enough and the coaches have done it previously.
“My advice to the players is to be focused, this is the beginning of their career and should not think they are the best yet. They should respect their opponents but should not be afraid of them,” Oseni told newsmen.
“I believe they can make us proud.
“They have a strong team and I believe in the coaching crew, they have done it before and they can do it again, so we are waiting for them to bring the trophy home again.”