Abuja – Sports Minister Tamuno Danagogo on Monday urged the Flamingoes to maintain their current form at the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in order to win the trophy.
The minister’s advice is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by the Minister’s Chief Press Secretary, Taye Akinyemi.
“The minister is now on his way to Costa Rica to personally motivate the team and deliver President Goodluck Jonathan’s message to them,’’ it said.
The minister’s reaction was on the heels of the Nigerian under-17 women football side’s 3-0 defeat of their Mexican counterparts on Sunday in their last Group D match.
The statement said the minister commended the Nigerian spirit displayed by the players and their refusal to be intimidated by the Mexicans.
“The defeat of the Mexicans by three clear goals has shown that the team is ready to be another symbol of the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan,” it said.
The statement added that the earlier promise by the team’s chief coach that the Flamingoes would be a force in Costa Rica was not an empty boast.
“This has proven not to be an empty boast as the team is poised to make a mark at the competition.
“I now urge you to redouble your efforts, especially at the knockout stage where you will meet another big football nation, Spain,” it quoted the Sports Minister to have said.
Danagogo also called on well-meaning Nigerians to support and pray for the team so that it will excel at the quarter-finals stage of the competition.
The Flamingoes had earlier beaten China PR and Colombia 2-1 each in their first and second Group D matches respectively.
They then finished atop Group D with nine points and will now meet Spain in a quarter-final match in the city of Liberia.
Mexico on the other hand had beaten both Colombia and China PR 4-0 each in their first two group matches to place second in the group with six points.
NAN also reports that the tournament, which is in its fourth edition, started on March 15 and will end on April 4.(NAN)