The Nigeria U-20 team, the Flying Eagles, will be hoping to maintain their 100 per cent run at the ongoing Africa Youth Championships in Senegal as they play their last group game against Cote d’Ivoire this weekend.
Chidera Ezeh one of the top players in the Flying Eagles team has served a notice that he and his teammates will not be taking things easy although they are already through to semi-finals of the AYC and more importantly have booked a place in the FIFA U-20 World Cup taking place in New Zealand later this year.
Ezeh said they will be gunning for victory over the Ivorians who denied them winning the U-17 Africa title last term.
“We are happy to have qualified for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The job is not done yet. Our aim is to win all our matches at the tournament. Against Cote d’Ivoire, we will be looking for a win as well. They beat us in the final of the Africa U-17 Championship in Morocco in 2013 and we want to avenge that loss,” Ezeh declared.
Also Coach Manu Garba has maintained his target is to win all their matches at the AYC.
“We are a team who want to win all our matches. We also want to send a big warning to the other teams coming to the World Cup in New Zealand,” said the U17 World Cup-winning coach.
“I have been asked if I would play a second–string side against Cote d’Ivoire and the answer is a categorical no because whoever I pick for the match on Saturday is capable of representing Nigeria very well.”
The Flying Eagles are in Mbour having relocated from Dakar ahead of today’s final AYC Group A match against Cote d’Ivoire that would take place at the Caroline Faye Stadium.
Going into Saturday’s game, the biggest absentee in the Flying Eagles’ squad will be first-choice goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo, who will serve out a one-match ban owing to his red card in the game against Congo.
The shot stopper of Nigeria National League side MFM Lagos was brilliant in the team’s opening game of the AYC against the host nation as he pulled off several saves.
His place will again be taken by Olorunleke Ojo from Giwa FC, who came in against Congo.
Tournament leading scorer with three goals Taiwo Awoniyi, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi and Ifeanyi Matthew are nursing various degrees of injury, but they should all be fit for selection officials in the Flying Eagles camp hinted.