Nduka Ugbade, the Golden Eaglets’ head coach, believes his side could have defeated Burkina Faso if they had capitalized on their scoring chances.
Burkina Faso defeated the Golden Eaglets 2-1 in the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal matchup in Algiers, Algeria on Thursday.
Nduka Ugbade’s team who created many scoring opportunities during the match, were knocked out of the tournament, ending their prospects of qualifying for the Under-17 World Cup in December.
The five-time world champions defeated Zambia 1-0, lost to Morocco 1-0, and beat South Africa 3-2 in their opening three matches before going on to crash out after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Young Etalons.
Coach Ugbade, 53, who captained the Golden Eaglets team that won the FIFA Under-16 World Cup in 1985, told CAFonline that his squad would have made the World Cup if they had been more effective in front of goal.
He said, “Everything worked as we had planned, but we could not score with the chances we had. We paid dearly for that. We learn the lessons and move on.
“The players are disappointed of course because they are young but we must support them because they need to continue their careers. We should work on their development because I believe that some of these players will eventually move to the senior national team.”
He added, “I am happy with the performance of our players and in such competitions, even if you lose, you gain something by developing the players for the future.”