The youth national team, Flying Eagles finally got the nod to zoom out to Nouakchott, Mauritania on Thursday, to keep a date with their hosts barely 24 hours later, in the first leg of their final qualifier for the 2019 African U20 Nations Cup.
The trip had been delayed since Tuesday, leaving Coach Paul Aigbogun and his wards tensed and apprehensive, as speculation spread that the team might have been stopped by an impending ban on Nigeria from world soccer governing body, FIFA.
However, all that appeared to have been laid to rest, with Aigbogun’s side given the nod to proceed to Mauritania for the first leg of the third round qualifiers.
Aigbogun will hope to see his side post an impressive outing in Nouakchott before hosting the Mauritanians in the second leg billed for July 19 at U.J Usuene Stadium, Calabar.
To advance to the third round, the Flying Eagles edged out Guinea Bissau 1-0 at the same stadium to advance 3-2 on aggregate.
The Nigerian team had in the first leg held Guinea Bissau to a 2-2 draw in Bissau, but will hope for a better away result when they file out against Mauritania on Friday.
Aigbogun, who is also the coach of Enyimba FC of Aba has two other top gaffers of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) as his assistants, namely Abdul Maikaba and Bala Abubakar.
Before flying out aboard Air Cote d’Ivoire from Abuja, Aigbogun said he is confident of a good result in Mauritania, who he recounted earlier eliminated Morocco and Guinea.
Aigbogun admitted: “We can’t be over confident but we know what we have to do. The most important thing is that we are leaving for the game after some uncertainties. The team are focused on the game and do what we need to do.”