Flying Eagles captain Ikouwem Utin insists the side have what it takes to beat Senegal in today’s Round of 16 encounter at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland.
Nigeria were beaten 2-0 when they met the Senegalese in the final of the Wafu U20 Cup of Nations in December 2018, but Utin who is the skipper of the team opined that they would use the experience they garnered from their previous encounter to nail their fellow West African opponents on Monday.
“Senegal have shown that they are a good side in this competition,” Utin stated ahead of the game.
We saw them at the U20 Afcon in Niger and in the Wafu U20 tournament in Togo. This is a different ball game and the mentality now against them is that we must win.
“We know it is the only result we must be on the lookout for to qualify for the next round.”
The Enyimba defender expressed delight at Flying Eagles’ qualification for the second round of the competition after their slip up against the United States.
He reckoned that their positive result against Ukraine will motivate them to do well in Poland.
“I am very happy that we got the result that qualified us for the next round of the competition and we are grateful to God for it,” he added.
“I want to thank our fans and supporters that believe in us. I want to assure Nigerians that we can do it, no matter the fact that we were beaten against the United States. I believe that this game will motivate us to go all out in our next game to ensure that we move closer to our objective of winning the competition.
“We went into the game with the right mentality. We wanted to win to show all that the loss against the United States was just a one-off.
“I am happy with the way my teammates approached the game. They played with the right aggression and I must also thank the coaches too for the right tactics we adopted.”