The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria will, on Wednesday, be hoping to seal their place at the FIFA U17 World Cup finals billed to take place in Brazil later this year.
The Coach Manu Garba-tutored team will take on their counterparts from Angola in their second match at the Africa U17 Cup of Nations in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Having won their opening game over the weekend against hosts, Tanzania, any victory over the Angolans will ensure the Eaglets’ passage to the semi-finals of the U-17 AFCON and also earn them a place at the World Cup.
Angola’s 1-0 win over Uganda also recorded over the weekend puts them in good stead to have one leg in the semifinals and automatically in the FIFA U17 World Cup slated for Brazil later this year if they beat the Golden Eaglets
All four semi-finalists at the ongoing championship in Tanzania will represent Africa in Brazil.
Two-goal hero against Tanzania, Wisdom Ubani, and Man-of-the-Match Akinkunmi Ayobami Amoo, will be the cynosure of all eyes in the Eaglets’ attacking line on Wednesday.
Yet, Ibraheem Jabaar, who slammed in the winning goal against the Serengeti Boys minutes after coming on as a substitute, is also capable of making things happen, just as Olakunle Olusegun, Fawaz Abdullahi, and Olatomi Olaniyan.
Nigeria won the Africa U17 Cup of Nations in 2001 in Seychelles and in 2007 in Togo. They were world champions in 1985 (China), 1993 (Japan), 2007 (Korea Republic), 2013 (UAE) and 2015 (Chile).
Current Head Coach, Manu Garba, was also at the head of the technical team that won in the United Arab Emirates six years ago.
The Eaglets failed to even qualify for the continental finals held in Gabon in 2017, losing to Niger Republic in the final qualifying round. Mali, Ghana, Guinea and the Niger Republic flew Africa’s flag at the last edition of the FIFA U17 World Cup finals, in India.
Mali edged Ghana in an all-African quarter-final, only to lose 1-3 to Spain in the semi-finals and falter 0-2 to Brazil in the match for third place.
In Wednesday’s other match of Group A, hosts Tanzania will tackle Uganda as both hunt for their first points at the tournament.