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Nigeria wary of ambitious South Africa as World Cup ticket beckons


Nigeria, which beat Burundi 2-0 in their opening game of the African U-20 Nations Cup at the weekend, will meet South Africa in the second Group A game…today. PHOTO: CAF

Nigeria will go into today’s Group A second game at the on-going African U-20 Nations Cup with the knowledge that a victory over South Africa will take them to the semifinals of the competition. The Flying Eagles also know that South Africa are desperate for the win that will take them closer to the next round and will therefore come all out for that victory.

Nigeria lead Group A with three points after beating Burundi in their opening game on Saturday, while South Africa are on one point following their draw with hosts, Niger Republic the same day. A win for Nigeria will push them to the semifinals and also fetch the Flying Eagles a ticket to the U-20 World Cup scheduled for Poland later this year.

The South Africans must beat Nigeria to overtake the Flying Eagles on the log and then play for at least a draw when they meet Burundi in their last game. But Flying Eagles’ Coach, Paul Aigbogun knows the extent of the South Africans’ ambition and has, therefore, charged his wards to go all out for the kill today.

Aigbogun, who promised to present a deadlier team against South Africa after the defeat of Burundi, is sure his wards will convert most of the chances they will create today.

The former Enyimba coach, said, “We are taking our games one at a time. Our ambition is to qualify for the World Cup and also win the African championship.

“We know the enormity of the task ahead of us and will therefore be ready for the task ahead.”

Aigbogun is likely to retain most of the players that beat Burundi 2-0 with perhaps one or two changes in personnel.

While Aigbogun is confident of the ability of his boys to deliver the goods, South Africa’s Coach, Thabo Senong says his team will be up for the fight against the Flying Eagles.

The Amajita held hosts Niger to a 1-1 draw in the competition’s opening game on Saturday.

Senong revealed that his technical crew has analysed Nigeria thoroughly in order to come out with a positive result.

Senong told the official website of the South Africa Football Association website: “We still have good players in our squad who are yet to feature in our upcoming matches and I believe the team will be ready when we face Nigeria.”

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