Flying Eagles feel Zambia 2017
Nigeria’s U-20 squad feel strongly that a place at the 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations is within grasp as they confront visiting Young Falcons of Sudan at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos on Saturday.
The Emmanuel Amuneketutored side won the first leg in Khartoum 2-1 two weeks ago and are clear favourites to reach the finals coming up in Zambia next year.
Samuel Chukwueze and Victor Osimhen scored as the Flying Eagles came from behind to defeat their hosts in Khartoum, and both goleadors are in top shape for Saturday’s clash.
Osimhen is record scorer for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, hitting 10 goals in Chile last year as Nigeria roared to a fifth triumph. Chukwueze’s goals also counted and he scooped the bronze boot as the third highest scorer of the tournament.
The Young Falcons have a mountain to climb against a squad that is not used to tasting defeat. Amuneke has come to this level with the bulk of the boys who did Nigeria proud in Chile, and have maintained an unbeaten streak ever since.
Meanwhile, a former a Golden Eaglet Coordinator, Garba Lawal yesterday predicted victory for the Nigeria U-20 team.
The 1996 Olympics gold medalist in a telephone chat with Daily Trust, said that though the Flying Eagles won their first leg against Sudan they should not to underrate their opponent on Saturday.
Lawal therefore advised the team to remain focus, saying that with determination they can succeed.
“They are upstanding, I appreciate the coach Emmanuel Amuneke, and he has a fantastic work. With much determination we can succeed but we are to remain focus and they are not to be underrated,” he said.
Also speaking on the team, a former Super Eagles coach, Christian Chukwu said he is confident of victory and eventual qualification for the tournament.
“I so much believe in the team amongst the national teams and I am sure we will beat Sudan, if we can beat them in their home, what stops us from beating them here,” said Chukwu.
Victor Osimhen of Nigeria controls the ball under pressure from a Brazilian defender during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015. Osimhen scored one of Nigeria's two goals in the first leg