AFRICAN U-20 CHAMPIONSHIP
Femi Solaja with Agency report
As the Flying Eagles aim to win and qualify for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup later this year in Poland, their opponent, Amajitas of South Africa has vowed to spoil the fun for the Nigerians when both countries face off tonight at the on going African Under-20 Tournament in Niamey, Niger Republic.
After a brilliant start with 2-0 win against Burundi, another win tonight will not only qualify Nigeria into the semi finals but land the team a World Cup ticket as one of the four African representatives.
However, to attain that feat, Coach Paul Aigbogun lads will have the country’s latest rivals from South Africa to contend with on Match-day two which is also very crucial to the Rainbow nation too after the 1-1 scoreline in their opening match against host Niger.
South Africa Coach Thabo Senong is said to be bracing for a tactical battle against old foes, as his team seeks to move a step further for the ticket after a disappointing score draw last Saturday.
“We are in a very tough group, we saw Nigeria had a very good start and won their first convincingly and for my team to make head way, we need to be focused and ensure that we get the points against Nigeria whom we know are desperate to achieve the best too,” he said in an interview with South African tabloid, The Times.
“We have to cut out the mistakes we made against Niger to increase our chances and hopefully, we can have a better game in the second match. We are playing against a very tough team, our players need to be switched on mentally to get a good result.
“It’s going to be a technical game, all Nigeria’s players are good on the ball but we are also good on the ball, as well and I hope we get the better of them and secure four points before the final group match,” he remarked.
THISDAY recalled that South Africa defeated Nigeria 2-1 at the group stage of the 2009 Africa Under-20 Tournament with goals from Ace Bhengu and George Maleleka but lost to the same side in the Third Place match.
Meanwhile, Flying Eagles Coach Paul Aigbogun still insist that his priority is to qualify for the World Cup and play down the capability of other teams at the championship.