Cadet national team, Golden Eaglets’ assistant coach, Nduka Ugbade is leading the under-17 squad’s charge for victory against Niger Republic on Wednesday, as he says Nigeria must not lose to the same side at this level in two editions.
Ugbade recounts how Niger Republic stopped the Eaglets from defending their Chile 2015 FIFA U17 World Cup tile by eliminating them from the African qualifiers in 2016, and says it is time for redemption at the Afiurcan U17 Cup of Nations zonal qualifiers.
Although the Eagles will be up against the hosts, Ugbade is blowing hot and stressed that the Nigerian team must avenge their elimination from the 2017 U17 AFCON in Rwanda by winning the midweek semi-final clash in Niamey.
The game, billed to kick-off 7.30 pm at Seyni Kountche Stadium, will be between the solid defence of Niger, who are yet to concede a goal thus far, and the rampant Eaglets attack, who have netted seven goals.
However, while recounting how Niger shocked the Eaglets to qualify for Rwanda 2017, Ugbade noted that the hosts have not scored a single goal in the ongoing zonal qualifiers, as they played two goalless draws to reach this stage.
The pioneer captain of the Eaglets, who won the maiden FIFA U16 World Cup of China ’85, is now exuding confidence that Coach Manu Garba’s side, who lost their opening match 3-2 against Burkina Faso then beat Cote d’Ivoire 5-1, will spank Niger on Wednesday.
Ugbade said: “We were beaten by Niger the other time. We will do battle against them again no matter the situation, and we will end up as winners, God willing.”