April 14, 2024

Football enthusiasts have expressed confidence in the ability of the Flying Eagles to put a good showing at the forthcoming Africa U-20 Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Sporting Tribune reports that seven-time champions, the Flying Eagles, have been drawn to play hosts Egypt, Senegal and Mozambique in Group A of the Africa U20 Cup of Nations.

The 2023 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations is scheduled to take place in Egypt from February 19-March 11, 2023.

Some football enthusiasts on Monday in Abuja said the Eagles would go very far in the tournament, judging by their performances in the several high-quality tune-up matches they have played so far.

Augustine Eguavoen, Technical Director, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said he was impressed with the performance of the boys, especially in their last tune-up game against Zambia.

The Flying Eagles, on Friday in Abuja, overpowered their Zambian counterparts, the Junior Chipolopolo, 4-2 at the end of a thrilling international friendly.

“I was very happy with the team’s result against a formidable Zambian side who were the 2017 Africa U20 Cup of Nations champions. Performance-wise, they were also not bad.

“They were a lot of goals as expected and I think the Zambians gave us a real test.

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“Prior to the game against Zambia, the team hadn’t had the time to play quality friendly games as they had to settle for local teams which they easily defeated by as much as five to six-goal margins.

“But the way they responded to win the game after the Zambians twice came back to level scores showed the strength, character and resilience of the team,” he said.

The former Super Eagles gaffer predicted that the Flying Eagles would go very far in the tournament, adding that the team was well-rounded and balanced.

“The team looks good to go and don’t have much to do again in terms of their technical and tactical approach to the game.

“They defend and attack in numbers which is very good, but they just have to try to tighten all loose ends, especially in the defence area so as not to concede too many goals.

“I think if we can keep a clean sheet then there is no stopping Nigeria. If we score and ensure we don’t concede, then we are always going to come out on top.

“The job of coach Ladan Bosso, however, is first to ensure that the team picks up one of the qualifying tickets to the World Cup, then they can focus on winning the title afterwards,” he said.

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Emmanuel Attah, former Super Eagles Team Manager, said the team would make the country proud, adding however, that there was still some work to be done, especially in the defence department.

“I think this team is one that will make Nigeria proud and I am happy with their performances in all their test matches played so far.

“The game against the Zambians was a good test for the boys and I think they gave a good account of themselves.

“However, my only reservation is in the goalkeeping area. I think we can still do better there.

“The goalkeeper needs to be serious. It is not always proper when the team plays well but the goalkeeper let them down. He made some very costly errors that resulted in the two goals conceded,” he said.

“The present NFF board is in the process of returning our football to what it used to be. We have been listening to the recent pronouncements of the NFF President and one can tell that he is determined and focused on the task ahead.

“Even the Super Eagles coach Peseiro and some other NFF technical officials were present during the match against Zambia, watching and taking notes as well.

“I am quite sure that they must have also discovered one or two of these young and very agile players who can easily fit into the senior national team.

“Nigeria is blessed with a lot of talented players and all that is needed is to harness these talents and make use of players who are ready to play their heart out for the country.

“We need to build a formidable squad around a solid home-based team who are hungry and ready to play, while some of the foreign-based players come in to complement the team,” he said.

The Flying Eagles head to a final training camp in Morocco on Wednesday before flying to Egypt for the tournament proper.

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