Nigeria’s U20 squad are planning for total victory when they confront tournament host Niger Republic in their final group A match at the Africa U-20 Cup of Nations today.
Speaking at the end of their Training session at the National Technical Centre, Niamey, coach Paul Aigbogun assures that the flying Eagles will secure a FIFA U20 World Cup ticket to Poland.
Hosts Niger are trailing Nigeria by two points and are level with South Africa.
Goalkeeper Olawale Oremade is likely to keep his place between the sticks, as defenders Mike Zaruma, Ikouwem Utin, Igoh Ogbu and Valentine Ozornwafor. Their alliance is still unbreached in the championship. Jamil Muhammad and Afeez Aremu could remain in the midfield with Alhassan Adamu in front of them, though Aigbogun may tinker with the strike force, with Ibrahim Abubakar, Aliyu Ibrahim, Nazifi Yahaya, Effiom Maxwell, Adeshina Gata and Sweden –based Onyekachi Paschal all in good shape.
Group A goes to the wire. With Nigeria topping the group with four points, ahead of Niger and South Africa, with two points each, while Burundi has only one point.
A draw against the Junior Mena would see the Flying Eagles through to the semi finals and a spot at the FIFA U20 World Cup in pocket, and in this case victory for South Africa over Burundi would also see the Amajita through. Also victory for the host over Nigeria, and victory for South Africa against Burundi, would eliminate the seven –time champions. Also, if Burundi secures a high-margin win over South Africa, and the Junior Mena overpower the Flying Eagles, Niger Republic and Burundi would go to Poland.
Coach Aigbogun had played the Nigeriens previously, to a scoreless statement at the WAFU Cup Tournament in Lome, Togo in December 2018.
Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr is in Niamey to watch the clash with Niger. The remaining three Africa’s flagbearers at the FIFA World Cup in Poland would be known today as Senegal, already picked a ticket.
Nigeria square up against Niger Republic at the same time as South Africa battle Burundi in Maradi.