Former Super Eagles striker and the 1997 African Footballer of the Year Victor Ikpeba has backed Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets to get past European champions Netherlands in their Round of 16 game of the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup holding in Brazil.
The five-time world champions won their first two games; 4-2 and 3-2 against Hungary and Ecuador but lost their last Group B game 2-1 to Australia whom they have defeated in all the previous meetings at the cadet World Cup between both teams.
Ikpeba spoke to Super Sport news on Monday night.
“Looking at the first goal we (Nigeria) conceded, you could see that communication is lacking but you can’t really fault the boys. Though there’s a lot of work to be done.
“They won two games before losing to Australia. Its not easy to motivate these boys. These things happen and it just shows the progress that the Australian youth system have made.”
The onetime Borussia Dortmund and Real Betis star further stressed the need for the Eaglets’ coaching crew to deploy a 4-4-2 formation which is familiar with the Nigerian players instead of playing three players in defence
“And playing against Netherlands, the custodian of ‘Total Football’, the Dutch may have the edge over Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets but we have sheer physicality and can overcome them,” Ikpeba posited.
The Nigeria versus Netherlands Round of 16 match will kick off 12 am on Wednesday, November 6.