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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Mexico Talks Tough, Amuneke Cautious

As Nigeria and Mexico prepare for the semi final clash, revenge rings in the mind of Mexicans

Mexico coach, Mario Arteaga, says his team are firmly focused on winning the World Under 17 title in Chile, adding that he would find ways to stop free-scoring Nigeria during Thursday’s semi-finals clash at Estadio Francisco Sanchez Rumoroso, Coquimbo, while his Nigerian counterpart, Emmanuel Amuneke, remain cautious

He told Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación official website that his team will stop the defending champions like previous oppositions.

“Nigeria is another interesting team, we have played more complicated teams at this tournament, but I am satisfied with our performances against each of the opponents we have faced and the results were in our favour. Nigeria are a team that also score a lot of goals, they are known for their power and speed, but I think we will set a good tactic to confront them,” said Arteaga.

He added: “We came with 21 players and everyone is ready. I have no problem putting one and taking off another. Keeping to the same set of players is because the results have been in our favour.

Amuneke said: “We are confident we can retain the title but must not get carried away.”

He added: “Right from our first game in Chile we believed in ourselves. But the journey and the road is long and the only time we could relax would be after the final if we have achieved our objective.”

Nigeria brushed aside Brazil 3-0 in the quarter-finals, with Osimhen helping his side to victory by scoring his eighth goal in the five games.

Amuneke is confident both Osimhen and the team can continue to develop at the tournament.

“The challenge is for them to grow and I am happy that they have channelled their thoughts and belief towards collectiveness,” he said. “This is what we have to continue to do.

“Victor can become a better player in the future. It is good that he is making his mark and we will guide him to become a better player.

“The expectations will be high for him to go to do well on a bigger stage. Hopefully he can keep his head and stay calm. He has to embrace the moment and make the most of it for his country and for himself.”

–     Chimaobi Uchendu 

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