Golden Eaglets Battle Morocco, South Africa, Zambia In U-17 AFCON Group Stage
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…Peseiro lauds team’s preparations
By Amaechi Agbo
Five-time world champions Nigeria must successfully negotiate a tricky Group B that includes Morocco, South Africa and Zambia in order to be eligible for a spot at this year’s FIFA U17 World Cup finals in Peru.
At the draw ceremony conducted inside the Cercle Nationale d’Armee in Algiers on Wednesday, host nation Algeria birthed in Group A and must be in attrition with Senegal, Congo and Somalia. Cameroon, Mali, Burkina Faso and South Sudan make up Group C.
Nigeria, who are champions of WAFU B zone and are coached by former Nigeria FIFA World Cup winner Nduka Ugbade, will contest their games in the city of Constantine. Group A will make home in Algiers while Annaba welcomes the teams in Group C.
All four top-placed teams at the tournament now scheduled for 29th April – 19th May will qualify to fly Africa’s flag at the FIFA U17 World Cup in Peru later this year.
Meanwhile, Super Eagles’ head coach, José Santos Peseiro has lauded the team’s preparations ahead if the tournament.
The gaffer was on hand as Nigeria’s U-17 boys, Golden Eaglets hammered Ikon Allah Academy 9-0 and Propel Sporting Academy 6-0 in two friendly sessions played within hours at the NFF/FIFA Goal Project, Abuja on Wednesday.
“I must say I have been impressed by a number of players in this team. They are headed for great things if they keep level heads and remain disciplined,” Peseiro said as he welcomed NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi towards the tail end of the second encounter.
The Golden Eaglets were clinical in front of goal in both matches, after the team demolished Ikon Allah Academy 9-0 before thumping Propel Sporting 6-0 shortly after.
The five-time world champions were very assertive from the blast of the whistle against Ikon Allah as they controlled the game scoring four goals to go into the break. On resumption, the woes of Ikon Allah were further compounded when the Eaglets added five more goals.