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Ugbade calls for compact play against Spain

By Jacob Ajom
Former captain of the 1985 gold-winning Nigeria U-17 team, Nduka Ugbade has adviced Golden Eaglets coach, John Obuh not to give the Spanniards space to play when the two teams clash in today’s semi final clash in Lagos.

Speaking on a radio programme yesterday, Ugbade who led the victorious Nigerian squad to the first edition of the tournament disclosed that the Spanish side plays more in the midfield with ocassional bursts up front, Ugbade said the Nigerians must engage their opponents with extra energy, tactics and more organised in front of goal.

“Our attackers must take their chances when they come. They must not be wasteful as any sily mistake could cost them dearly,” Ugbade warned.

He said the players must know the importance of the game and play tirelessly. “They should go in there with the mind of playing a two hour match. They have to be consistent because the Spanniards are fast on the ball.”

Ugbade adviced against allowing the 2007 finalists play in their traditional department, the midfield. “They are good in the midfield. Our coach must counter this with fast breaks in the flanks and deny them of the ball as much as possible.”

The former Nigerian international predicts a tough match for the coach John Obuh_tutored boys but was confident that the Nigerian team would triumph at the end of the day. “The boys have been fantastic.

Thay have done well so far and this has built their confidence. Having crossed the group stages and now in the semi final, they know what to do,” he concluded with optimism.


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