Posted tagged ‘FIFA U-17 World Cup’

Sani Emmanuel: We Can Go All The Way In Columbia 2011

August 2, 2011

A report from Nigerian Newspaper This Day concerning My People FC’s Sani Emmanuel, currently featuring for Nigeria’s Flying Eagles at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Columbia:

One of the top stars of Nigeria’s silver performance at the 2009 FIFA Under17 World Cup was Sani Emmanuel. Emmanuel was the striker that sported the number 14 jersey in that tournament; the super sub that was pulling Nigeria out of difficult situations in almost all the matches. He ended up scoring five goals in just his 221 minutes of play to win the FIFA U-17 Adidas Golden Ball as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and also won the Adidas Silver Shoe as the second highest goal scorer of the championship!

Like all the top-notch players of the Under-17 team, the new coach of the Under 20 team; the Flying Eagles, John Obuh, on his promotion from the Under-17 team, graduated Emmanuel to his new level. Emmanuel is now with him in Colombia on the team’s expedition at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup Finals. In the opening match of the team against Guatemala on Sunday, he came on as a second half substitute and had a memorable match in the team’s 5-0 annihilation of the North American side.

Emmanuel reviews here his life in the game, his beginning and his hopes.

“My father did not support me when I started playing football. In fact I was not even living with my parents. I was actually leaving with friends because we were very poor. I shunned school for football because that was the only thing after my heart and the only thing that brought me success and happiness. I had no other desire in my heart than play football. The other sport I love is table tennis and I think I would have been successful at that sport if had not taken to football. However, I must say my nomenclature in the game started changing for the better after the ‘Man of God and my father in the Lord’, Prophet T.B Joshua, discovered me and begun showing interest in my sporting career. His efforts since have helped to propel me to where I am today. I will therefore be forever grateful to him. He was instrumental to all the trials I attended before my friend Onazi (Ogenyi), and I, got our contracts with SS Lazio of Italy.

Sani Emmanuel

Sani Emmanuel in Camp at Columbia

“After the last U-17 World Cup, I continued to train the usual way I do – hard and regularly. I also went to several trials with clubs. One of the clubs I had trials with; together with my bosom friend Onazi Ogenyi was Lazio in Italy. Luckily, we faired well at that trial and were offered contracts.

“We were both not at the Africa Youth Championship that took place in South Africa because the letter of invitation go to us very late. And when it arrived, it was in the middle of an important period as far as matches were concerned, for the club. Although I wanted so much to play in the tournament but it wasn’t possible so I would say I really missed it. It was a chance to add something to my collection of silverware, but it did not come to be. So I would say not taking part in the South Africa expedition was my loss.

“I was only able to see the opening and the final matches of Nigeria at the African Championship on teevee. So, I cannot say now how tough the team had it or how easy at the tournament. But from the two matches, I knew the Under-20 team were as good as the Under-17 team that got to the world final in Abuja. However now, that was then and this is Colombia and we have to work hard to emulate the old success.

“After the kind of preparation we had coming here to Colombia, I am full of confidence that we can go all the way. As for me personally, I have been training very hard to be in good shape and very fit for the tournament. I am sure I will be making the team and that every time I play, I will not disappoint both the coach and myself. Well, if I must add, I hope will are there on the final day, lifting up the cup.

“I am happy to have been offered a good contract at Lazio. We all know the Serie A is one of the top three leagues of the world in both toughness and talent. I shouldn’t feel any loneliness at Lazio as I have lots of people that would help to make my time here memorable. For instance, there were four Nigerians in the team, with only Ayodele Makinwa playing in the first team. But Makinwa has now gone on loan so we have three Nigerians left three left in the club while the third person is Emeka. But with the way things are going now I believe at least two of us will graduate to the first team by the start of the 2011-2012 season.

“Before Lazio offered me a contract, I had trials in London with Jon Obi Mikel’s Chelsea and with Tottenham Hotspur. I also had trals with Young Boys of Switzerland and Panathinaikos of Greece.

“Some people have expressed their surprise that it took me so long to get a club. But I must say when you team up with the Man of God at the Synagogue (Prophet T.B Joshua), you have a special person behind you. He not only wanted the best for us but what he told Onazi and I was that he wanted us to feel the European style, experience it well before we lace up professionally for any club. So, the original object was not for us to just get a club in Europe, but to first experience it and know how it works. In this, he was ready to fund the waiting period and our learning curve. He has been wonderful to us. Now, finally we have a contract with a big club.

“I hope by the grace of God that I will be able to break into the first team this season. Everyone at the club is waiting for the coach to name his first team squad. The good thing is that Onazi and I have been training with the first team. I sincerely hope we make the grade at the end of the day. Everyone knows how good the Italian league is and that to make the grade into the first team of a Serie A club, one has to be good and then work hard. We are training hard to make it.”

SOURCE: This Day

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My People FC Stars For FIFA U-20 World Cup

July 5, 2011

Two of My People FC’s players, Sani Emmanuel and Ogenyi Onazi, have taken giant leaps forward in their careers ever since their impressive performances at the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The duo have now been picked for the provisional Nigerian squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup which is due to be held at the end of July in Colombia, following their successful signing by Italian giants Lazio.

To God be the glory!

Here is a news article relating to their inclusion in the squad:

Obuh’s Eaglets dominate provisional World Cup list
Ahead of the upcoming FIFA Under-20 World Cup, Flying Eagles handler, John Obuh looks set to bank on the services of former members of the Nigerian Under-17 side that finished second at the last edition of the cadets World Cup.

Obuh was in charge of the Nigerian team which lost to Switzerland in the final match of the Under-17 World Cup hosted two years ago by Nigeria and will be in charge of the Nigerian U-20 side at the World Cup to be hosted by Colombia.

In Colombia, the Flying Eagles will compete out of Group D alongside Croatia, Saudi Arabia and Guatemala.

However, the tournament doesn’t get underway until the end of July amd Obuh looks set to call upon the services of his trusted lads from two years ago after including as many as 12 of them in his provisional 30-man list for the tournament.

They are led by Lazio of Italy’s Sani Emmanuel, who finished as the most valuable player of the last U-17 World Cup. Another former Golden Eaglets star, Eddy Onazi, who also plays for the Italian Serie A side, also made Obuh’s provisional squad list for the World Cup.

Onazi

My People FC's Ogenyi Onazi scores a blistering goal while in action for SS Lazio

Others are Danjuma Paul, Olanrewaju Kayode, Edafe Egbedi, Abdul Jeleel Ajagun, Terry Envoh, Mohammed Aliyu, Omoh Ojabu and Kenneth Omeruo.

There’s also room in the squad for the duo of team captain Ramon Azeez and Stanley Okoro who are both on the books of Spanish La Liga side, Almeria who will now play in the Spanish second division following their recent relegation from the top flight.

The Flying Eagles qualified for the World Cup by virtue of their first place finish at this year’s African Youth Championships in South Africa and Obuh has included 17 members of that team in his provisional World Cup list including Ahmed Musa who only got to play in the opening day 2-1 win over Ghana.

The VVV Venlo of Holland star was thereafter recalled to his Dutch club and played no further part in the Flying Eagles’ successful march to the trophy.

But having already gathered more than a handful of caps with the Nigerian senior national side, Musa looks certain to make the final list for Colombia where his experience will come in handy as Nigeria seeks a historic title at Under-20 level.

SOURCE: Next

Emmanuel Plans NGO For Less Priviliged

November 18, 2009

A report in Nigeria’s ‘Sports Day’ concerning My People FC striker Sani Emmanuel and his passion for the plight of the poor:

FIFA U-17 World Cup Most Valuable Player, Sani Emmanuel has declared that his long term plan in football is to channel whatever will accrue from the beautiful game into helping the needy. According to a close pal and colleague of the Golden Eaglets ace forward in My People FC, Emmanuel has said he hopes to establish an NGO or a Foundation that will cater for the less privileged in the society to be able to give back what God has given to him.

Emmanuel SportsDay learnt is acting strictly on the prophesy given to him on his arrival to SCOAN few years ago by the General Overseer of the Synagogue Of All Nations (SCOAN) Prophet TB Joshua, who told the player that he will be great provided he works according to the directives from the Almighty God. The player was further told to ensure that he set up an NGO that will cater for the less privileged and the physically challenged.

Emmanuel who himself has been under the care of the church (SCOAN) since his father took him there about five years ago is a case-study of how God works in the lives of His people.

Says he, “when Emmanuel came here he was a nobody just like most of us who were from the suburbs and slums from all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria. Today he is one of the most sought after youths in football. That is the story we all share and hopefully he will move from grace to grace because as we pray for him we will also climb to greater heights in our chosen careers.

Sani Emmanuel

Sani Emmanuel in action for the Golden Eaglets

“Emmanuel is really a child of God and since his arrival here at the Synagogue he has been working in the path of God taken all prophesies, messages and directives from the man of God, Prophet TB Joshua seriously and abiding by them. It is therefore not surprising to all of us that he has attained the height he presently enjoys. Most others will take a cue from him.”

SOURCE: Sports Day

U-17 World Cup: Sani Emmanuel Shines Again, Wrecks Spain

November 14, 2009

History in the making! My People FC’s Sani Emmanuel has netted 5 goals in a stunning 144 minutes, his brace against Spain taking Nigeria into the FIFA U-17 World Cup Final!!

Nigeria defeated Spain 3-1 in yesterday’s semi final match of the 13th FIFA Under-17 World Cup, but the two goals from My People Academy’s forward, Sani Emmanuel were all that the Golden Eaglets needed to book a place in the final.

Emmanuel, who has been an altar boy at The Synagogue Church of All Nations for many years, wrecked the U-17 team of Spain. His goals came after Stanley Okoro’s first goal while Borjan scored Spain’s only goal.

Sani Emmanuel

Sani Emmanuel celebrates with his team-mates after scoring against Spain!

The youngster electrified the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos immediately he was introduced into the match. He was a thorn in the flesh of the Spaniards with his blistering runs and ball control, which earned him two goals in the match, watched by a capacity crowd.

Emmanuel, who was introduced into the match in the 48th minute began to do damage to their opponents barely 23 minutes later. He scored a brace to take his goal haul in the competition to five, making him a joint top scorer with two other players from Uruguay and Spain.

The player, who was literally raised in the Synagogue, owned by Prophet T.B Joshua, has been described as the hottest super-sub of the ongoing competition.

Eaglets coach, John Obuh says Emmanuel has been very instrumental to his team’s success at the Nigeria 2009 World Cup. “Emmanuel has become my joker and he’s playing to instruction,” Obuh said.

Apart from the praises he has received from his people back in Ikotun, it was a carnival-like atmosphere as the worshippers celebrated the performance of one of their own till late yesterday. An elated Joshua, said: “I’m happy for Emmanuel. When I noticed he’ll be a great footballer, I sent him to Sweden and registered him in my academy, My People F.C. So, I’m glad he’s making progress and the young boy will go places.”

Obuh has assured that his wards would be ready for their final match against Switzerland at the Abuja Stadium on Sunday.

Obuh, the former Kwara United coach said he was impressed with his team’s performance and disclosed that he would make some changes in the team to be battle-ready for Sunday’s clash.

Sani Emmanuel

Sani Emmanuel - one with a difference

“I’m really delighted that my players rose to the occasion; they played to instructions and I’m happy that we would play in the finals. It is a good thing that though we started slowly, we were able to put back smiles on the faces of Nigerians.”

On his expectations and what he knows about the European newcomers, Obuh says he knows little about them. But he believes with the right attitude and approach to the match, his team would retain the trophy in Nigeria.

He added that he is aware the Swiss are a very mobile side, but will get a strong team to beat them.

“I know them as a team that have qualified for the final. By the time we meet in Abuja on Sunday, we would get the better of them and win again for Nigeria.”

SOURCE: The PM News

Sani Emmanuel – From Bench To Bona Fide

November 4, 2009

On the heels of Sani Emmanuel’s impressive performance for Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets against Argentina, the My People FC striker has attracted a bout of attention, FIFA’s official website dedicating an article to him…

At the start of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Nigeria’s Sani Emmanuel looked destined to fulfil a mere supporting role for the U-17 hosts and holders but Lady Luck, combined with an unfortunate injury to one of his team-mates, has nudged him into the glare of the spotlight.

Sani Emmanuel, Golden Eaglets, My People FC

Sani Emmanuel strides past two Argentine defenders

As the final Group A game kicked off against Argentina, the young striker took his place on the substitutes’ bench for the third time in a row. From that vantage point, he saw La Albiceleste open the scoring early in the game, followed by his own team’s immediate response, delivered by Omoh Ojabu. A welcome turn of events for the Golden Eaglets, but not necessarily for Emmanuel. As often happens in sport, however, one man’s calamity can become another man’s chance.

After half an hour’s play, Ojabu was forced to leave the pitch with an injury. To everyone’s surprise – including the interested party – Emmanuel was instructed to replace him. “Of course I was amazed! I hadn’t played a single minute since the beginning of the tournament and suddenly the coach calls on me for such a crucial match,” he told FIFA.com with a smile just after the final whistle. “The vote of confidence provided me with real motivation. I felt for Omoh, but I just told myself that I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.”

And opportunity was to present itself to him again less than five minutes later, when Aigbe Oliha’s 25 metre rocket was spilled by Ignacio Arce, the Argentinian goalkeeper. The ball landed at the feet of the substitute who, on the point of celebrating his entrance with a goal, contrived to shoot over the bar from point-blank range. “I still don’t understand how I put it over,” he says. “I’d never missed such an easy chance in all my life. But it was my first goal-scoring opportunity – I was possibly a little tense and hadn’t quite found my touch yet. If the chance had come around a few minutes later, I’m sure that I would’ve scored.”

Sani Emmanuel, Golden Eaglets, My People FC, TB Joshua

Emmanuel in action for the Golden Eaglets

But in such a high-octane match, there was no time to dwell on it. At least that was the impression given by Emmanuel, who proceeded to make incisive and lung-bursting runs for the rest of the match, demanding the ball as often as possible. “Funny thing is, I couldn’t get it out of my head!” he admitted. “I kept thinking that if we lost, it would be down to me. All I wanted to do was to make up for it.” He would have to put in an intense 15 minutes of work in the second half to achieve that goal.

A goal for My People
Having started the move that ended with Olarenwaju Kayode being brought down in the box, Emmanuel then placed the ball on the spot himself, as Stanley Okoro, the usual penalty-taker, had just been substituted. This time there was no mistake as he dispatched the ball into the Argentinian net. “I couldn’t miss it – I owed it to all of our supporters,” points out the forward from the My People club, responsible for making his compatriots jump for joy.

“It’s a reward for all of the work that I’ve put in each day. Even when you’re not playing, you still follow the same routine as the starting eleven – you train just as hard, you put in just as much effort, you’re part of the same adventure as everyone else. I’m happy to have contributed towards it.”

Sani Emmanuel, My People FC, John Obuh, Golden Eaglets

Sani Emmanuel celebrates his beautiful strike against Argentina

The Golden Eaglets do not yet know if Ojabu will be fit to face New Zealand in the Round of 16, but what they do know is that in Emmanuel they have more than just a bit-part player. An exemplary team-mate, hard-working and always smiling, the Nigerian number 14 is obviously hoping to play and get on the scoresheet against the Kiwis, but is also looking even further ahead.

“Please don’t take this as arrogance, but we’re not just thinking about our next match. From the first day onwards, we’ve only had one thing in mind: to become champions,” says the luxury substitute before getting on the bus taking the Nigerian team back to Abuja. “I don’t know if I’ll be in the coach’s plans for the upcoming matches, but if he puts his confidence in me, he won’t regret it,” he promises by way of conclusion. It’s the kind of language that could well be translated into the term ‘first-choice’ when the next team-sheet appears.

SOURCE: Official FIFA Website

My People FC’s Sani Emmanuel Nets Winner For Eaglets

October 31, 2009

My People FC’s Sani Emmanuel grabbed a late winner for Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets in their tough match with Argentina on Friday. It was a perfect penalty kick! Africa News reports…

Local supporters witnessed a hard-fought victory at the Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi as Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets came from an early goal down to earn an impressive win against their Argentine counterparts…

With Argentina already assured of a place in the next round of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, the onus was on Nigeria to build on their victory against Honduras and guarantee their place in the knock-out stages. Honduras and Germany playing simultaneously in Abuja, Friday saw the final matches of Group A, billed by local media as ‘The Group of Death’.

John Obuh

John Obuh - Coach of Golden Eaglets

In an action-packed opening, the South Americans took a mere two minutes to start the scoring when Esteban Orfano wove through a crowded Nigerian defence to fire deftly past a hapless Dami Paul. Three minutes later however, the hosts defiantly responded as Terry Envoh’s corner nicely fell for Omoh Ojabu to stab home from close range, levelling the scores.

Playing at a slower pace induced by the humid Bauchi climate, both sides had chances to increase their lead in the first half, the closest falling to Eaglets substitute Sani Emmanuel, whose rebound shot went agonisingly over the bar from eight yards out.

The results remaining even at half time, the Argentineans seemed content to play for a draw as the second half kicked off with the Eaglets providing most of the attacking impetus. A steady stint of Nigerian pressure finally paid off in the 72nd minute when substitute Lanre Kayode was brought down inside the 18-yard box by Federico Rasmussen. With Nigeria’s Stanley Okoro substituted moments earlier following a disappointing performance, Sani Emmanuel stepped up to coolly fire home an almost perfect penalty, sending the local fans into ecstatic celebrations.

Sani Emmanuel

My People FC's Sani Emmanuel In Action

With 15 minutes remaining, the Argentineans began to pile on pressure in search of an equaliser, but were unable to penetrate the solid Nigerian defence, the Eaglets holding on to secure a deserved victory. 2-1 was the final score, the result leaving Nigeria on top of group A with 7 points, followed by Argentina with 6. Germany, who recorded an easy 3-1 victory against Honduras, will be left to hope their efforts are enough to secure a slot as one of the four lucky losers to progress to the next rounds.

With more impressive performances from Eaglets midfielders Abdul Ajagun and Ramon Azeez, as well as striker Sani Emmanuel who plies his trade with Pastor TB Joshua’s ‘My People FC,’ Coach John Obuh can be confident that his boys are waxing stronger as the tournament progresses to the final stages.

SOURCE: Africa News, Modern Ghana