Golden Eaglets Coach Reflects on Missed Opportunities in Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations Quarterfinals

Golden Eaglets Coach Reflects on Missed Opportunities in Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations Quarterfinals

...By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.

Nduka Ugbade, the head coach of the Golden Eaglets, expressed his belief that his team would have emerged victorious against Burkina Faso if they had capitalized on their scoring opportunities.


Unfortunately, Burkina Faso secured a 2-1 victory over the Golden Eaglets in the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal match held in Algiers, Algeria.

This defeat dashed their hopes of qualifying for the Under-17 World Cup in December.

Despite creating numerous scoring chances throughout the game, Ugbade’s team fell short, emphasizing the importance of converting opportunities into goals.

Missed Opportunities and Tournament Exit:

Despite their earlier successes, including a 1-0 victory against Zambia and a 3-2 win over South Africa, the Golden Eaglets’ journey in the tournament came to an end following their 2-1 defeat against Burkina Faso.

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Ugbade’s team demonstrated an ability to create scoring opportunities, but their failure to convert them proved costly.

Their defeat eliminated their chances of progressing further and representing their country in the Under-17 World Cup.


Reflecting on Performance and Lessons Learned:

Coach Ugbade, a former captain of the Golden Eaglets team that clinched the FIFA Under-16 World Cup in 1985, shared his thoughts on the team’s performance.

He acknowledged that their overall strategy and execution aligned with their plans, but their inability to convert the chances they had created proved to be their downfall.

Ugbade expressed disappointment on behalf of the players, considering their youth, but stressed the importance of supporting them as they continue their football careers.

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He emphasized the need for their development and believed that some of these players would eventually progress to the senior national team.

Positive Takeaways and Player Development:

Ugbade recognized the efforts of his players and highlighted the value of participating in such competitions.

He stated that even in defeat, there is something to gain by developing players for the future.

Despite their exit from the tournament, the coach remained optimistic about the potential growth and progress of his squad.

He expressed satisfaction with their overall performance and emphasized the importance of nurturing and grooming young talents for the benefit of Nigerian football.



Nduka Ugbade’s assessment of the Golden Eaglets’ performance in the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals highlights the significance of capitalizing on scoring opportunities in football.

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His acknowledgement that their strategy worked well, but their failure to convert chances cost them the match, emphasizes the importance of clinical finishing.

The coach’s disappointment for the young players is a testament to their ambition and the need to support their development.

Ugbade’s focus on player growth and potential future contributions to the senior national team demonstrates a long-term perspective, recognizing that experiences gained in youth competitions can benefit players’ careers.

Despite the disappointment of the tournament exit, Ugbade’s positive outlook and emphasis on player development reflect his commitment to fostering talent and ensuring the future success of Nigerian football.


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