Coach Manu Garba says the Flying Eagles are ready not only for Germany but any team that may come their way at the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The Flying Eagles’ Head Coach said on Sunday in New Plymouth, New Zealand that they needed to be ready for any team if they were going to be champions.
“Our next game is against Germany but we are ready for any team, because if we want to be champions we have to be ready for of them,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the coach spoke to fifa.com moments after they overran Hungary 2-0 to advance to the competition’s Round of 16.
Speaking on the win, Garba said the game was “a very good match for us’’.
“We wanted to score more, but still I’m happy with the 2-0 result. The Hungarians play more from the wings, but we were able to control the game and the outcome.’’
NAN reports that Nigeria have thus set up a mouth-watering last-16 meeting with Germany after they leapfrogged the Magyars into second place in Group E with the win.
They ended up with six points from two wins and a loss from three games, after scoring eight and conceding four goals, with Brazil topping the group with nine points.
But the Hungarians still qualified in third-place, though, as one of the best third-placed teams and will now kick off the knockout phase against Group D winners Serbia in Dunedin.
Nonetheless, they were well beaten at New Plymouth’s Taranaki Stadium, with Taiwo Awoniyi’s brace no more than the African champions deserved for their overall dominance.
The Flying Eagles were the better side throughout, neutralising four-goal forward Bence Mervo and providing a constant threat at the other end.
They would have taken the lead as early as the 16th minute but for an incredible save from Gyorgy Szekely.
He stuck out a strong right hand to beat away Awoniyi’s powerful close range header.
The Hungary goalkeeper was merely delaying the inevitable though, and was helpless to prevent the deadlock from being broken 17 minutes later.
Awoniyi ghosted away from his marker to volley in at the near post from Saviour Godwin’s teasing low cross.
The Europeans rarely threatened a comeback but did produce one effort of note a few minutes into the second half.
Mario Nemeth was just a couple of inches away from a wonder goal, having taken aim from 30 yards and rattled the crossbar with Joshua Enaholo beaten.
However, the points — and second place — were secured in the 54th minute when Awoniyi doubled the score and his tally.
It was a goal neither Attila Osvath or Akos Kecskes will want to watch again.
The Hungary duo both went up for the same header at the halfway line, collided and missed the ball entirely.
Awoniyi could hardly believe his luck and, even though he still had some work to do, he did it in style.
He dribbled past a covering defender before rounding Szekely and tucking the ball into the unguarded net.
Speaking also after the game, Bernd Storck, the coach of Hungary, said his players were not at their best and could not have kept up with their opponents.
“Today our players’ fitness level was not at 100 per cent, as it was against Brazil, and to keep pace with an opposition like Nigeria is difficult.
“We started well for the first 15 minutes, but they were better. I wanted to give a chance to all my players so I can test their level against these quality sides and I am happy that I managed to do that.’’
He is however hopeful about their next game, against Serbia in the Round of 16.
“I have seen a little bit of their games so far, and I hope my players will be 100 per cent fit in time for that game.’’(NAN)