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Nigerians expected too much from Flying Eagles – Adepoju

Nigerians expected too much from Flying Eagles – Adepoju

The former Super Eagles midfielder has called on Nigerians not to condemn Manu Garba’s team for crashing out of the second round of the U20 World Cup, instead embrace the positives


Former Nigeria international has said the Flying Eagles lost out of the Fifa U20 World Cup because of the burden of expectations placed them by football fans across the country.

Many had tipped Manu Garba’s side to win the competition after their heroics at the African Youth Championship where they emerged champions, but saw their juggernauts halted in the round of 16 by Germany – who got their lone goal courtesy of Levin Öztunalı’s first half strike.

Adepoju, who was a member of the Flying Eagles squad that placed second at 1989 U20 World Cup played in Saudi Arabia said the team would have learnt from their mistakes which is very key in the building process.

“Shortly before the U20 World Cup, the team won the African Youth Championship and has been winning all their matches, Nigerians got used to this and expected them to repeat that feat on the world stage. Honestly, in football it doesn’t work that way,” Adepoju told Exclusives.

“It will be wrong to say they are overhyped. Remember this team has not lost for a very lost time and I’m sure they must have learnt from their mistakes and sometimes when you are building, it’s always good to know one’s weaknesses.

“We should not condemn the team, all we need to do is to move forward. Because there are lots of talented footballers in the squad.”

With an average age of just 18.9 years, Nigeria are, for the first time ever, taking the youngest panel of players to the championship in which they have twice contested the final with Germany parading the oldest squad.

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