The Nigeria U20 team, the Flying Eagles, are set to begin their chase for a qualification ticket to the U20 Africa Cup of Nations that will be staged in Mauritania next year.
The Coach Ladan Bosso tutored-side will begin their campaign in Group B of the WAFU competition in Benin Republic with a potentially tricky tie against Cote d’Ivoire at the Stade de Galles in Porto Novo, Benin Republic.
The Nigerian team will then face perennial rivals, Ghana, in their final group game on Wednesday.
The Flying Eagles have been sweating it out in training in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, for the past weeks, and having gone unbeaten in all their preparatory games, there is a glimmer of hope they would deliver in Benin.
The U20 AFCON qualifiers WAFU B began on Saturday with hosts Benin going down 1-0 to Niger Republic, while Togo and Burkina Faso settled for a 1-1 draw.
This is a clear warning for the Flying Eagles who arrived from Lagos on Saturday and they are already talking tough that they are in town to win the tournament and also confirm their superiority in the sub-region.
One of the Flying Eagles’ key players, Peter Olawale, has dismissed the suggestion Nigeria has a hard nut to crack in Cote d’Ivoire.
Olawale, who plays for Israeli club, Hapoel Ranana, is one of the only two foreign-based players listed in the Nigeria squad and he is confident the Flying Eagles will soar past their opponents.
“We are in Benin Republic to win the Wafu Cup,” Olawale told Goal.
“Cote d’Ivoire are a big force when it comes to African football but at this level, it’s a different ball game and we are focused on coming out victorious when we face them on Sunday.
“Without sounding boastful, we are blessed with a solid team and an intelligent coach and I feel these factors will make our opponents scared of us and not the other way around.”
On his part, the Flying Eagles coach chose to be more cautious as he openly admitted that Nigeria are in for a tough time at this year’s WAFU B tournament.
“It will be a tough competition but we are ready. A lot is at stake here, we are going to work hard to achieve our goals of picking a ticket to the U20 Nations Cup.” Bosso was quoted as saying on the official Twitter handle of the NFF.
*All other players are fit
*Head coach Ladan Bosso "It will be a tough competition but we are ready. A lot is at stake here, we are going to work hard to achieve our goals of picking a ticket to the U20 Nations Cup."
*Housed in Cotonou, group games will be played in Porto Novo pic.twitter.com/3DvusoJ29X
— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff) December 6, 2020
Having all tested negative in their latest round of COVID-19 tests, all the 20 players selected, except goalkeeper John Amah, will be unavailable for the game against the Ivorians.
Goalkeepers: John Amah (Box2Box FC), Chibueze Lambert (Abia Warriors), Kolawole Oladipo (Crown FC)
Defenders: Temitayo Ereku (Brookhouse Academy), Charles Etim (Blessed Stars), Mike Zaruma (Plateau United), Christopher Nwaeze (Kwara United), Moses Solomon (Calabar Rovers), Isaiah Ejeh (Kwara United), Jimmy Abdul (MFM)
Midfielders: Oladoye Adewale (Water FC), Liameed Quadri (36 Lions), Muhammad Abdallah (Nasarawa United), Azeez Oseni (36 Lions)
Attackers: Chisom Orji (Collins Edwin), Wisdom Ubani (Giant Brillas), Farayola Olawale (Kwara United), Chukwubuikem Ikwuemesi (Giant Brillas), Nenrot Silas (Plateau United), Peter Olawale (Hapoel Ranana, Israel)
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