Youth national team, Flying Eagles coach, Paul Aigbogun is eager to come up with a compact midfield structure for Friday’s West African Football Union (WAFU) U-20 Cup of Nations semi-final against Mali in Togo, but he is worried that Kwara United of Ilorin sensation, Uche Onwuasonaya is still injured.
Footballlive.ng gathered that Aigbogun believes midfield would be the key to victory against Mali, hence his desire for the return of Onwuasonaya, who was injured after 10 minutes in the first match against Niger Republic.
Onwuasonaya missed the Eagles’ 4-2 win over Ghana on Wednesday and Aigbogun’s wards have struggled in midfield due to his absence. Other players Aigbogun will be banking on against Mali include Maxwell Effiom, who was named man of the match on Wednesday, after scoring two goals against Ghana.
Same goes for first choice goalkeeper, Olawale Oremade, who pulled off a top-class save to deny Ghana doubling their lead before Effiom drew Nigeria level on the stroke of half time.
The team’s central defenders, Valentine Uzornwafor and Salaudeen Aliu also caught the eye as they combined well to curtail The Black Meteors.
Abubakar Ibrahim Babawo, who has moved to Plateau United from Niger Tornadoes, scored a penalty against Ghana and showed class playing in an unfamiliar position at right back as against his usual role as a winger.
Aniekeme Okon, who normally plays down the flanks, also sparkled after he moved into midfield, while Adeshina Gata showed a lot of positives as a substitute on Wednesday.
They will all hope to pick top form against Mali on Friday, from 7.30pm Nigeria time, for a place in the final on Sunday in Lome, Togo.