Flying Eagles Set to Maintain Nigeria’s U20 AFCON Dominance


The CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations kick off on February 19. It is important to know the history of the competition with respect to Nigeria’s journey and how the Flying Eagles have held their own against Africa’s best young prospects.

Ladan Bosso takes charge of the Flying Eagles in Egypt, but, in retrospect it has been a case of mixed fortunes for Nigeria in the competition; qualifying once out of the last three editions and coming in fourth place in 2019.

Out of 23 editions of the tournament since its inception, the Flying Eagles have been crowned champions seven times, finished as runner-up twice and picked up the bronze medal three times.

The team has also finished fourth three times, which brings Nigeria’s medal haul in the tournament to 12 medals out of 17 editions they have appeared in, which is very much remarkable.

This means that Nigeria has failed to make it up to the semi-finals only twice out of the 23 total editions of the U20 Africa Cup of Nations.

Also worthy of note is that the Flying Eagles did not qualify for 4 of the 23 total, and also did not enter for 2 editions of the 23 editions, including the first edition in 1977 and the other in 1991.

These stats, only show Nigeria’s stronghold on the continent in terms of youth football with the nearest rivals being Ghana with 4 gold medals, 3 less than Nigeria, and are also the defending champions after they defeated Uganda 2-0 in 2021 final.

Egypt is tied with Ghana as the second and third most successful Nations in the competition.

Ladan Bosso and his boys look to improve the numbers for Nigeria, and one step to achieving that will mean grabbing one of the available tickets to the FIFA U20 World Cup, also this year.

The Flying Eagles will begin their quest against Senegal – who have members of the CHAN 2023 winning team in the squad – on Sunday and kick off is 5pm. Host, Egypt get the competition under way 2pm against Mozambique.


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