Flying Eagles hopeful as group phase draw holds tomorrow
On Saturday, Flying Eagles and Young Chipolopolo will play.
The Africa U-17 Cup of Nations draw ceremony will take place tomorrow at the Cercle Nationale d’Armee in Algiers, Algeria.
Nigeria, a five-time world champion, is one of the 12 nations whose names will be put into the pot for the draw when all competing teams learn who their group stage opponents will be for the competition, which is set to take place from April 8 to 30 in Africa’s largest country by land mass.
By now, everyone is aware of the 12 participating countries: Algeria, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Somalia, South Sudan, Zambia, South Africa, Cameroon, and Congo.
The 12 teams will be divided into three groups of four teams each, and the top four teams in each group will advance to represent Africa at the FIFA U17 World Cup finals later this year in Peru.
The U-20 boys’ international friendly match between Nigeria and Zambia will now take place on February 4 at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
Initially, the national football associations of both nations had decided on a two-game trip for January 27 and January 30. A postponement was necessary due to logistical concerns and the Young Chipolopolo’s reluctance to process their entry visas into Egypt for the upcoming Africa U-20 Cup of Nations before departing Zambia.
The U-20 group from Zambia will now only be allowed to play one game against the Flying Eagles before leaving for Dakar to play Senegal on Tuesday of the following week. The delegation is still in Lusaka.
In Egypt, both Nigeria and Zambia will compete against a nation from the opposing area. Zambia will compete against the Benin Republic in Group C, while Nigeria will compete against Mozambique in Group A, along with Tunisia and The Gambia. Group B consists of Uganda, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Congo.
Nigeria, a seven-time African champion, will take a flight to Morocco the following week to begin their final round of training.
Coach Isah Ladan Bosso’s wards have been in flaming form in recent weeks, lashing a slew of teams in friendly games.
Bosso’s wards were worthy champions of the WAFU B U20 Championship in Niamey, Niger Republic in May 2022, winning all their five matches in the competition.