Nigeria’s youth national team, Flying Eagles’ coach, Paul Aigbogun has reflected on his side’s 1-1 draw with Red Bull Salzburg of Austria, and says the opponents’ goalkeeper stopped his squad from winning the game.
Reflecting on Tuesday’s line of action, in which the Flying Eagles drew their second match, out of four, in their ongoing build-up games towards this month’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, Aigbogun said his players gave a good account of themselves.
The former handler of Warri Wolves of Delta State and Enyimba of Aba enthused that the improved form he saw from his lads during Tuesday’s game has given him added confidence that the lads will be ready to explode when action starts next weekend at the Youth Mundial.
The team will play their final preparatory match against RB Leipzig of Germany on Friday, then fly out to Poland on Sunday, 19th May for the competition, where they are in Group D with Qatar, USA and Ukraine.
He posited that getting three points from their opening tie against Qatar in Tychy next week Friday would greatly boost the players’ confidence in approaching their remaining games of the group phase.
Aigbogun’s lads had to dig deep in the second half to find the equaliser which came off the boot of substitute Tijani Muhammad.
Salzburg had gone ahead midway into the first half and held on to go into the break ahead.
It took the Flying Eagles time to settle and when they did they took the game to Salzburg.
The introduction of Tijani, Chinonso Emeka, Success Makanjuola and Peter Eletu saw Nigeria control the second half and could have scored more if not for the heroics of the Salzburg goalkeeper.
Aigbogun told thenff.ng at the end that he was impressed with his lads even though there is still work to be done before the tournament starts.
He added: “We could have won it if not for their goalkeeper. We had two good chances in the second half.
“I thought we should have won it at the end. The team is progressing even though there is work to be done.
“It took us time to get settled in the game and when we did I think we took control of the game.
“This Salzburg team is a tough one. They play in the Bundesliga II and it showed in their game but I’m glad my boys rallied back to get a draw.
“Our target is to get those three points in our first game and s
“We can only repay their support and effort, and the confidence of the people of Nigeria, with a good outing in Poland. “et off on a run. It would be a big booster.
“Our game plan is to get off on a good footing at the World Cup and then carry on from there.
“The Nigeria Football Federation has done very well to camp the team in an exquisite facility ahead of the FIFA World Cup.