Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Sunday, September 30, 2001

Front Page | National | Southern States | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Entertainment | Miscellaneous | Features | Classifieds | Employment | Index | Home

Sport | Previous | Next

Size does matter for Nigeria

PORT OF SPAIN, SEPT. 29. The team most comfortable with the maximum-size field at the Hasely Crawford stadium here could hold the key to victory on Sunday as Nigeria and France prepare to battle in the final of the FIFA under-17 World championship.

Nigeria coach Abdullahi Musa said it will be a disadvantage to his team playing on the huge field here after having played all its matches on the smaller fields in Tobago at the Dwight Yorke stadium, where it excelled.

``Now that it has to play on this maximum-size field it will take some adjusting to,'' Musa said. ``The French have played there already so they will be a little more at home on it, but we will speak to our players about what to expect and to advise them to let the ball do the work rather than try to run all over the field with it.''

Musa added that he tried to practice on the Hasely Crawford stadium field before, but couldn't as they were making repairs in preparation for Sunday's final.

Nevertheless, Musa said he feels confident his team will do well against the French. Nigeria beat France in the first match in Group B 2-1.

For the French, their arrival at the final represents their best placing to date. Their 2-1 come-from-behind win over Argentina is a first for the French.

The local French consulate has already scheduled a party at the Ambassador's residence on Sunday night, hoping it turns into a victory celebration heralding another international title for the French.

France coach Jean-Frabcois Jodar praised his players, and the team's achievements. He said the quick equaliser to cancel out the 49th-minute goal by Argentina's Tevez was a huge factor in his team's success in the semifinal on Thursday.

He also felt the loss to Argentina at the under-20 World championship in Argentina earlier this year was a motivating factor as he was sitting beside the head coach during that defeat.

- AP

Send this article to Friends by E-Mail


Section  : Sport
Previous : A near coup by Bhratri Sangha
Next     : Arjuna Awards presented

Front Page | National | Southern States | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Entertainment | Miscellaneous | Features | Classifieds | Employment | Index | Home

Copyright © 2001 The Hindu

Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu