The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has assured Nigerians that the U-17 National Team, Golden Eaglets, will qualify for this year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup finals scheduled for the United Arab Emirates.

The chairman of the NFF Technical Committee, Barrister Chris Green, commenting on yesterday’s defeat by the Baby Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire at the Africa championships in Morocco, said it has only served to rouse the Nigerian boys to the fact that they are beatable.

“The team had played 28 matches without losing any, before Wednesday’s match. I had faith in them to beat Cote d’Ivoire, but they obviously did not do enough as the sharp edge was lacking and they were not as aggressive as they were against the Ghanaians.

“However, I believe this loss has only served to make the team fully matured. The boys have grown up now, knowing they can lose a match if they fail to perform at optimum level.”

Green emphasized that the Coach Manu Garba-led technical crew has been working on the boys to make them forget Wednesday’s loss and concentrate on earning the three points against Congo-Brazzaville on Saturday.

“All we need to do is get the boys to put the defeat against the Ivoriens behind them and keep level head and do what they have to do against the Congolese – win. Once we qualify for the semi-finals, we take it from there.”

Qualification for the semi-finals will earn the Eaglets, the 2007 world champions, a ticket to represent Africa at the World Cup in the UAE in July.

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