The Golden Eaglets beat Abuja-based Virgin Kids Academy 3-1 at the NFF/ FIFA Goal Project in Abuja on Saturday in continuation of their build up towards Niger 2015.
Kehinde Ayinde and Victor Osimhen scored three goals between themselves to cancel Virgin Kids’ opening goal by Samson Ekemezie. Coach Emmanuel Amuneke started with a possible line up pairing the duo of Chidera Akachukwu and Kanu Chibueze in the central defensive positions in only their first match for the national U-17 team.
Virgin Kids started the game fast and furious and defended in numbers to keep the adventurous Eaglets’ attacking duo of
Samuel Chukwueze and Ayinde at bay. The Eaglets would later concede a corner kick on the other end and Ekemezie wasted no time in volleying the ball behind goalkeeper Udoh Akpan in the 24th minute.
But 10 minutes later, Ayinde who was snapped from Kwara Football Academy, gave the Golden Eaglets the needed equaliser when he sneaked behind the opposing line of defence to slot the ball into the net behind goalkeeper Abayomi Oluwole.
On resumption of the second half, Amuneke injected some of his battle-hardened lads with gangling Victor Osimhen coming on for Ayinde and Abass Ibrahim for Chukwueze. The replacements brought some vibrancy into the Eaglets and Osimhen lived up to expectations by grabbing a brace with two well-taken goals.
In the 52nd minute, he robbed Virgin Kids’ defenders in the box and cleverly placed the ball behind the reach of goalkeeper Abayomi Oluwole. He was back in the hunt again 13 minutes later when he majestically guided the ball straight into the net after substitute Yahaya’s pass had cut out on-rushing Oluwole yet again.
But for some excellent goalkeeping by Oluwole who incidentally couldn’t make it during screening exercise, the Golden Eaglets could have run away with a higher goal margin win following misses by Osimhen and Yahaya towards the end of the match.
“Unlike the game we played on Wednesday, today’s match is a bit harder for the boys especially the new ones but we are happy we won,” said Kabiru Baleria, assistant coach.
“The more we play these matches the better for us since it would help our preparation for the African Championship in Niger.”
Saturday’s win was Golden Eaglets 19 in 20 domestic friendly matches having drawn blank against Anantigha Stars in the other game six months ago in Calabar.
Golden Eaglets Vs. Virgin Kids: U.Akpan(E. Nwokeocha 64: S.Brown 85) A.Muhammed(E.Akpan 45); U.Douglas; K. Chibueze(M.Gold 45); K.Nwakali ; C. Akachukwu(L.Halilu 45); S. Abdullahi(N.Yahaya 60); J.Ipalibo; K. Ayinde(V.Osihmen 45); K. Michael(P.Orji 45); S. Chukwueze(A.Ibrahim 45)