EXCLUSIVE: We Believed We'd Comeback - Golden Eaglets Captain
By Ufuoma Egbamuno
Golden Eaglets Captain Samson Tijani has praised the efforts of his teammates following the team's dramatic comeback to beat opponents 4:2 in their opening game at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Three goals in six second half minutes was all the team needed to overcome their opponents who they last met 34 years ago when both sides clashed at the FIFA World Cup in China in 1985.
Speaking to Nigeria Info's Bunmi Blair after the game, Tijani said: "I really thank all my players for putting more effort for us to equalise, come back and win the game.”
JUST IN: Golden Eaglets captain Samson Tijani has praised the efforts of his teammates as they came from behind to beat Hungary 4:2.— Nigeria Info FM 99.3 (@NigeriainfoFM) October 27, 2019
He also has a message for you watching this... pic.twitter.com/ElAguhvfdx
The Eaglets captain who was voted Man of the Match after scoring the first and last goal for Nigeria, insists he always believed the team would get a win despite going down twice to their opponents.
“I just believe in my teammates that we are capable of doing it and they believed in themselves. So we just came back and everything worked for us,” Tijani said.
Gyorgy Komaromi took full advantage of poor defensive organization to score the first goal in the game past Nigeria’s Daniel Jinadu in the 3rd minute of the game.
Tijani equalised from the spot 17 minutes later, a goal that created a bit of history as it was Nigeria’s 150th in the competition.
The parity didn’t last long as Simon Major restored Hungary’s lead in the 28th minute even though the Golden Eaglets looked the brighter of both teams.
Defender Usman Ibrahim headed in the equaliser in the 79th minute. In the 81st minute, Nigeria took the lead for the first time as Two minutes later as Ibrahim Jabaar’s dazzling run ended with a pull –out from the left that defender Oluwatimilehin Adeniyi headed home. Captain Tijani ensured Nigeria’s win with a deflected free-kick.
Tijani insists the team are capable of “doing well in the tournament” and wants the backing of fans back home.
“For the fans in Nigeria, I want them to be encouraged to just keep supporting us so that we can do well and I promise them we are going to do well in this tournament,” he noted.
The Golden Eaglets play Ecuador in their next encounter on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in the day’s other game, hosts Brazil thrashed Canada 4-1 in Brasilia.