“I Am Afraid Of Morocco But We Are Going For The Win” – Nduka Ugbade
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By Our Correspondent
Nigeria coach, Nduka Ugbade has stated that he is “afraid” of Morocco as his boys battle the Moroccans in the second Group B match at the ongoing U-17 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON in Algeria on Wednesday.
Both teams won their opening encounters against Zambia and south Africa and Wednesday clash will see both nations battle for the quarter-final ticket.
Ugbade notes that the match at Constantine will be a massive tactical battle admitting that he is ‘afraid’ of Morocco himself, but notes that his side will fight till the end to clinch three points and move top of the group.
“It is going to be a very tough match and I must admit that I am very afraid of Morocco myself. But, we are going for just three things; win, win win,” Ugbade said in Tuesday’s press conference, as he previewed the duel against the Atlas Cubs.
The Maghreb country leads Group B with three points and two goals from their 2-0 victory over South Africa on Match Day One, while the Golden Eaglets are second also with three points, but with only a goal following their opening day 1-0 win over Zambia.
Whoever wins the duel on Wednesday will affirm their place in the last eight and Ugbade says he wants this to be his side.
“Morocco is a very good tactical side. I watched a bit of their match against South Africa and I was impressed with how they played. They defend very well and are tactically disciplined and very compact. We are going to see a very big tactical battle,” said the coach.
Forward Tochukwu Ogbabido also anticipates a huge battle for his side, but reckons they are on good confidence to grab a win and take over top of the group.
“Morocco is a really tough opponent and we respect them a lot. They are a good side and we saw this from their game against South Africa. We will definitely step up to do our best and try to create victory because it is important for us to advance to the next round,” the Jossy United striker noted.
Meanwhile, coach Ugbade has admitted there were lots of areas of concern for them in their opening game, but they have worked to be better, though he still knows there will be mistakes.
“Of course at this age group there are very many errors you expect from these players, but the most important thing for them is that they keep improving and doing better every game. Against Morocco we need to control the game better and also make the best use of our chances,” said the tactician.
At the same time, Nigeria said they are not weighed down with pressure from their favorites tag, but are instead pleased and encouraged to prove themselves on the pitch.
The match kicks off at 17h00 local time at the Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium in Constantine.