–Team Trains 5.30pm Friday Evening
The Flying Eagles of Nigeria will face Cote d’Ivoire in their final AYC Group A clash on Saturday seeking to end the group stage on a perfect note.
The Eagles defeated Senegal and Congo 3-1 and 4-1 respectively and thus became the first African side to qualify for the FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zeland.
Many of the Flying Eagles stars had faced their Saturday’s foes at the U17 level with the Ivorians coming out tops twice.
At the 2013 CAF U17 Championship in Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire clinched their first-ever title at this level when they upstaged favourites Nigeria on penalties after final scores stood at 1-1.
The Ivorians also beat the Golden Eaglets 1-0 in a group game of the same competition.
Nigeria’s Manu Garba and Ivorian,Ibrahim Kamara, were both in charge of the teams in Morocco and they will again be calling the shots when they do battle on the artificial pitch of the Caroline Faye Stadium in Mbour at 6pm Nigerian time on Saturday.
Much of the pressure will be on Cote d’Ivoire to win so as to reach the last four of the competition. They have two points following draws against both Congo and Senegal.
“Cote d’Ivoire will likely sit back in defence and hope to catch us on the counter, but we will be ready for them,” said a confident Garba.
“People have spoken of revenge, but we are not interested in that. We just want to keep on winning our matches because if we win all our games in Senegal, we will be champions.”
“We are focused on winning our final match against Cote d’Ivoire even though we have already won the group,” added striker Chidera Ezeh.
“It won’t be an easy match particularly after what happened at the U17 level.
“We respect them, but don’t fear them and we will win,” the Porto FC of Portugal youngster told the media in Dakar.
Chelsea U18 midfield ace Victorien Angban could again pose a threat to the Flying Eagles back four as he is a promising star who can decide games. The youngster was not available for his team’s first game against Congo but made a return in the team’s 2-2 against hosts Senegal on Wednesday.
The Flying Eagles will train at the stadium Friday evening at 5.30pm Nigerian time, Completesportsnigeria.com can report.
A press conference by the Nigerian team holds 4pm Nigerian time with that of Cote d’Ivoire having held an hour earlier.