The head coach of the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria, Nduka Ugbade has urged his players to take their chances ahead of their last group game against South Africa later tonight.
After defeating Zambia under-17 team 1-0 in their opening group game in the ongoing Under-17 AFCON in Algeria on April 30, the Nigerian team needed to beat Morocco in their second group game on May 3 to book their place in the next round, but couldn’t.
On the said date, the Golden Eaglets had 24 shots, four of which were on target against the Morocco Under-17 team but couldn’t score any.
The victory automatically qualified the Moroccan team for the quarter-finals stage after defeating South Africa in their opening game. This makes their last group game against Zambia an inconsequential fixture for the Moroccans.
But Saturday’s game between South Africa and Nigeria is important for the two teams. Recall that South Africa beat Zambia 3-2 in their second group game which means that they also have three points like Nigeria.
Hence, Nigeria is second in Group B, behind first-placed Morocco because third-placed South Africa has a minus-one goal difference. This means that if South Africa manages to beat Nigeria, they will join Morocco in the quarter-finals stage.
Therefore, for the Golden Eaglets to fancy a chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals stage tonight, from 8 PM WAT, they must beat the South African team by taking their chances according to coach Ugbade.
The coach said, “We must be more efficient with the chances we have. We will try to look for some different ways, tactically, to impact the outcome of the game. We have a chance, but also, that chance can fade away. We have to work hard.”
Note that the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria need to go as far as the semi-final stage of the 2023 AFCON to qualify for the next Under-17 World Cup. The World Cup will be held from 10 November to 2 December 2023.