Golden Eaglets’ goalkeeper, Dele Alampasu, has assured Nigerians that the Swedes will not get the better of him like they did the last time the Golden Eaglets played against the Swedish U-17 team during the group stages of the FIFA U-17 World Cup tournament.
Three teams from Nigeria’s group F have qualified for the semi-finals of the completion. Sweden and Mexico, two teams that were in the same group with Nigeria have also qualified for the semi-finals.
This is the first time in the history of the FIFA organised tournament that this will be happening.
Argentina, the only ‘outsider’ among the semi-finalist face Mexico while Nigeria and Sweden Clash again.
It will be recalled that Nigeria thrashed defending champions, Mexico, 6-1 but struggled to force a 3-3 draw against Sweden after conceding two goals during the first half of the match.
Nigeria’s goalkeeper, speaking on the FIFA website, admitted his mistakes during the match in which he conceded three goals. He has conceded 5 goals in total during this competition.
“I wasn’t myself,” he said. “I messed up coming off my line for the first goal and that weighed on me afterwards. I was a bit lost after the first goal. Before I could get myself back in the game, I was called on again and everything went wrong.”
He, however, takes some solace in the fact that even the best goalkeepers in the world are far from perfect. People like Petr Cech of Chelsea and Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich, two of his heroes.
“I watch them every time they play and I learn a huge amount,” he said.
And like his Chelsea and Bayern Munich counterparts, who have both bounced back impressively from errors in the past, Alampasu quickly underlined his quality in the following match. “I got over it against Iraq,” he said with a smile as remembered his team’s 5-0 success against Iraq.
“I won’t make the same mistakes against Sweden; I’ve learned my lesson,” he insisted. “This is my first international experience and I’ve drawn a lot of information from that game, especially in terms of the level of concentration you need to have at this level.”
Nigeria face Sweden in one of the Semi-final matches on Tuesday, 5th of November 2013 at 5pm Nigerian time.