The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria have arrived Algeria ahead of the 14th edition of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to run from April 29 to May 19.
Coach Nduka Ugbade’s squad touched down Algiers on Sunday April 23, and directly moved to their base in Constantine just a week before their opening game against COSAFA vice champions – Zambia in the three weeks competition.
According to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials, complications encountered in the process of securing an entry visa into Germany for their last training is the reason for their early arrival.
“Following complications which arose in the process of securing entry visa into Germany for a planned final training camp in that country, the NFF opted to send the squad earlier to Algeria for the final build-up,” Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications explained on Sunday.
Coach Nduka has selected 26 players to help end a 16-year wait for a third trophy in the competition but holds his breathe waiting to get the results of the CAF provided Magnetic Resonance Information (MRI) test to be certain after the same exercise at home disqualified almost all the midfielders of the WAFU B champions.
16 players from various football academies across the country, while the rest 10 are from grassroot sides.
Before jetting off to Algeria, the team had played 12 friendlies. They registered 11 wins, one draw and scored 66 goals to earn an unbeaten run which coach Nduka believes they can keep in Algeria
Before jetting off, he clearly stated; “What matters now are winning a ticket to the FIFA World Cup and winning the Africa Cup. I believe we have the boys to do the job,”
Nigeria has Host Algeria, South Africa and Zambia as opponents in group A.
Nigeria Vs Zambia (30/04/2023 – 17h00 local time – Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium, Constantine)
Nigeria Vs Morocco (03/05/2023 – 17h00 local time – Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium, Constantine)
South Africa Vs Nigeria (06/05/2023 – 20h00 local time – Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium, Constantine)
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