Nigeria’s U20 boys coach Ladan Bosso says his main aim is to guide his nation to a win against Uganda so as to earn qualification for the 2023 U20 Men’s FIFA World Cup through the quarter-final of the U20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
Record winners Nigeria will clash with Uganda in the quarter-final of the 2023 competition Thursday at the Suez Canal Stadium.
Ahead of the game, Bosso who guided Nigeria to a second place finish in Group A revealed their plans against the Hippos who won Group B after the toast of a coin.
“We all know that Nigeria has qualified to the quarter-final stage and knowing fully that we have an objective of coming out of this place and the least task ahead of us is to pick one of the slots to the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
“We’re almost there but it is not yet sealed. We believe and hope that at the end of the regulation time tomorrow we should be celebrating,” coach Bosso said.
Nigeria was missed in the business end of the last edition of the tournament in Mauritania and lost their opening game of this edition of the competition but recovered in style to reach the last eight.
Bosso praised the Ugandan team that finished their group matches without a defeat.
“The Ugandan team is equally qualified and they’re our next opponents and we cannot underrate any team,” Ladan continued.
“This is the knockout stage. If you don’t squeeze through it’s as if you didn’t qualify, so we will do all we can to make sure we go through to the World Cup.
“We have our strategy and we hope our plan will work accordingly.”
There is so much at stake in this encounter, the first meeting between these two teams at this level.
The winner of the match will not only progress to the semi-finals of the competition, but they will also secure their spot at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia later in July.
With that much to fight for, a thrilling clash is expected between the Flying Eagles and the Hippos.
Uganda will head into this quarter-final match-up high on confidence after finishing top of Group B thanks to two draws against Congo and Sudan, a win over the Central African Republic, and the luck of drawn lots.
It is thrilling to note that Uganda only made their debut appearance at the U-20 AFCON in the last edition, but they shocked all, including themselves, as they surmounted all obstacles to reach the final. And even then, it took a resilient Ghana side to condemn them to a runners-up finish. It remains to be seen how Nigeria manage this new challenge.
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