Coach of the Nigeria Under-20 side, Manu Garba, has issued out a rallying cry to his team ahead of the opening game of the African Youth Championship (AYC) in Senegal.
The Flying Eagles will look to outwit hosts Senegal in front of a capacity home crowd at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar on Sunday.
“Our opening game is as good as the final,” Manu said in his pre-game press conference on Saturday. “We will not toy with this game as we want to win it. It is our most important match of the tournament.
“They say the journey of a million miles starts with the first step. We want to win and go all the way.
“If you lost the first game, you will most likely struggle in the tournament.”
Manu added: “At the 2013 Caf U-17 Championship, we beat Ghana 6-1 in our opening game. We also beat Mexico 6-1 in our opening game at the Fifa U-17 World Cup. We went all the way on both occasions.”
All semi-finalist of this year’s Africa Youth Championship (AYC) qualify for the 2015 Fifa Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand and the winner join Brazil, Korea Republic and Hungary in Group A of the championship.