U-20 AFCON: Uganda Coach, Captain Vow To Upstage Nigeria In Quarter-final …We Have Our Strategy – Bosso
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By Amaechi Agbo
As the quarter-final matches of the 2023 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON begin in Egypt on Thursday, (today) Uganda Coach and the captain have vowed to upstage Nigeria in the quest for 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup ticket in Indonesia later in the year.
Both teams will clash in the second quarter-final match after Senegal and Benin match, Uganda Coach, Jackson Mayanja said their objective is to pick the World Cup ticket ahead of Nigeria, a view reechoed by his captain, Isma Mugulusi
“I have always said it and I will say it again here. What I want to achieve with this team is to qualify for the World Cup,’ he told the media
His captain, Isma Mugulusi opined “We are ready, everyone is in shape, we’re mentally good. We’ve tried to put what the coach wants in practice. I think we can overcome Nigeria in the quarter-finals
“Nigeria has been good but now we’re also good and we can compete,” Isma told journalists.
“If we manage to qualify for the quarter-finals that means we can also qualify to the semi-finals and go to the World Cup.
“Tomorrow is the day we will write history in Ugandan football.” the Makedonikos FC attacker said.
…We Have Our Strategy – Flying Eagles Coach
However, his opposing number, Ladan Bosso has stated that that their aim in the tournament remains to pick the World Cup ticket adding that his boys have strategy to overcome Uganda’s threat
The record champions are back in the quarter-finals of the tournament after failing to make the last edition in Mauritania.
Nigeria finished second in Group A behind Senegal and will be going into Thursday’s match with a lot of confidence following their back to back win in the group stage.
“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,” said coach Ladan Bosso.
“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.”
The experienced Bosso says the Flying Eagles will not underestimate the Hippos who reached the final on their debut two years ago.
“The Ugandan team is equally qualified and they’re our next opponents and we cannot underrate any team.”
“The knockout stage if you don’t squeeze through it’s as if you didn’t qualify so we will do all we can do to make sure we go through to the World Cup.
“We have our strategy and we hope our plan will work accordingly.”
Goalkeeper Chijioke Aniagboso joined the Flying Eagles boss at the pre-match press conference for the big clash on Thursday.
The Giant Brillars FC custodian says they need to work even harder to beat the Hippos of Uganda.
“We will continue from where we stopped improving our game but we’re happy to get to this stage,” Chijioke said.
“We need to work so much harder than how we started like my coach said losing this match is like not even qualifying at all so I think we’re prepared with the coaches and by god grace we will go through.
“We are in a confident mood because we started this and we have to end it. There’s no feeling or anything. Our job is to go to the field and up our game and book our ticket.”
Both teams clash at the 22,000 -capacity Suez Canal Authority Stadium in Ismailia as from 7pm Egypt time (6pm Nigeria time) today
A win against the Hippos will qualify the Flying Eagles for their 13th appearance at the FIFA U20 World Cup finals, with this year’s tournament billed for Indonesia 20th May – 11th June.