Nigeria faces tough Congo test

Nigeria faces tough Congo test
20 April 2013 03:35

The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria face a tough examination of their title ambitions in Marrakech on Saturday when they clash against Congo in a must win match for both sides if they are to entertain any hopes of qualification to the semi- finals. Group B of the CAF U-17 Championship winds up on Saturday with all four sides, Cote d’ Ivoire, Nigeria, Congo and Ghana still able to reach the semis.After seeing their fantastic start to the tournament derailed by Cote d’ Ivoire, the Nigerians are keen to get back to winning ways and coach Manu Garba summed it up saying, “ We all know what is required from this match and l have spelt it out to the boys and we have prepared with this in mind and now we wait to see what happens and by God’s grace we shall prevail. We have to take care of our game without having to wait on results elsewhere to get to the semis”  Nigeria Football Federation President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari weighed in with words of encouragement to the players telling them to live up to their pre- tournament high rating by winning their next game against Congo and secure qualification to the World Cup. “It was unfortunate that you lost to Cote d’ Ivoire but this is just a setback and a wakeup call but we have faith in you which remains unshaken and I know you will make it up when you play against Congo and all Nigeria will be behind you” said MaigariCongo meanwhile have declared that they saw how Cote d’ Ivoire played against Nigeria and will be out to bring more misery on the Nigerians. The added incentive of winner takes all makes it a game worthy fighting for and neither side will want to give an inch in what has come down to more of a Cup final match. Congo currently sits on two points while Nigeria is on three. But Congo will have to make changes to replace Antoni Andrely and Francis Okombi who are serving a suspension and with three players already out after failing an MRI test it remains to be seen how much this will affect The Junior Red Devils.Meanwhile, former NFF Vice President Amanze Uchegbulam urged the Golden Eaglets to go all out against Congo on Saturday saying “Everybody has huge expectations about you, so go out and show that your 6-1 win against Ghana was not a fluke when you play against Congo on Saturday. Go and redeem yourselves which l know you are capable of doing“he saidIn Casablanca Cote d’Ivoire will be engaged in the other Group B battle with Ghana and again both sides will be seeking an outright victory to reach semi-finals. Both matches kick off at the same time. The Group winner will play their next match in Marrakech against Tunisia while second placed side will play in Casablanca against Morocco