The plan of the Nigeria Football Federation to get the Super Eagles Bexposed to high grade international games to improve their level ofconfidence and aptitude remains in place, despite the defeat byMexico’s ‘A’ Team in Los Angeles on Saturday, President of the NFF, MrAmaju Melvin Pinnick has stated.
Pinnick, also a Member of the FIFA Council, has also counseled theplayers to discountenance the high-score defeat and rather take toheart the great lessons of the encounter, while embracing the factthat they need such games to come to great stead and be able tocompete creditably at international level.
“There is nothing that has happened here that will discourage us frompushing ahead with the plan we have for the team,” Pinnick said afterthe match watched by an impressive 53,258 spectators inside the LAColiseum in the State of California. “Our programme to get the team toa higher level through regular exposure to the toughest games possiblewill continue apace.
“I believe the players gave their best in the encounter, and theresult could have been different if we didn’t concede those earlygoals and we took our chances that came immediately after. Thedifference was in greater experience and much more exposure, andnothing stops our boys from standing up to the Mexicans with a numberof games under their belts in the next few months.”
Star –studded El Tri mined immense psychological advantage fromscoring two goals in the opening four minutes as Nigeria’s defenderswere still settling into the encounter. Livewire Anayo Iwuala muffedan opportunity and tripped on another, and El Tri went ahead to scoretwo second half goals to wrap up the tie.
“I am strongly of the belief that the players should be commended fortheir efforts in the game. They did not just lie down to be slaughtered.They put up a fight and were only unlucky.
“We will go ahead and deliver on the programme we have for them to bea much stronger team, as we look forward to the next African NationsChampionship.”
The squad could make a return to the USA in a few months as thecooperation agreement between the NFF and the Government of State ofMaryland starts to take shape. Pinnick (on behalf of the NFF) and theLieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford (on behalf of the Government ofState of Maryland) last week signed a cooperation agreement based onshared vision and shared values and with the pillar of mutualunderstanding for rapid development.
The delegation of Super Eagles B is expected back in Nigeria onWednesday morning.
Bronze medallists at the third edition of the CHAN in South Africa in2014, the Super Eagles B won silver as runners-up at the fifth editionin Morocco in 2018, but failed to qualify for the 2020 finals playedin Cameroon early this year as a result of the disruption tointernational calendar by the global coronavirus pandemic.
The qualifying matches for the seventh edition of the CHAN, to bestaged in Algeria, are scheduled to begin before the end of the year.