U23 AFCON: Eagles will be the team to Beat in Egypt – Nwakali


Nigerian midfielder Kelechi Nwakali has dismissed the notion that the national U-23 team is under pressure to defend the CAF U-23 African Cup of Nations title.

Nigeria face Zambia, Ivory Coast and South Africa in Group B, and Nwakali admits the Eagles will be the team to beat, because they are the defending champions.


“First of all, Nigeria, we are the defending champions and I believe that only that is enough confidence for us.


“Playing South Africa, Zambia and even the Ivory Coast team, they are good opponents, we are going to respect them and not underrate them but at the same time having it at the back of our minds that we are going there to achieve our aim which is going to the Olympics next year. For me I don’t think there is any pressure.”


He has also assured Nigerians that the team will fight to win every game in Egypt.


“We want to win every game but this is football, at the same time we have to do what we have to do which is one thing at a time – picking the ticket to the Olympics.


“If we have to win the competition, then we are ready to do that because that is why we are going there but at the same time the first objective is to pick up the ticket to the Olympics.”


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