After meeting the initial target of securing qualification for the 17th Africa U20 Cup of Nations-Egypt 2023, Nigeria’s Flying Eagles are looking to finish with a flourish in the West African Football Union B zone tournament in Niamey.
The Nigeria U20s will be battling against neighbours Benin Republic on Friday to determine which of the two teams is the best U20 squad in the West African Football Union B zone.
The final clash is evenly poised as the Flying Eagles and the Squirrels have been the best two teams so far.
Like Nigeria, Benin Republic emerged winners of their pool in the group phase, above second-placed Cote d’Ivoire, and then defeated Burkina Faso, the second-placed team in Group B, 2-1 in the first semi-final match on Wednesday.
Seven-time African champions Nigeria also defeated Cote d’Ivoire 2-1 after extra time in a tense and turgid affair at the Stade General Seyni Kountché.
The crucial winning goal for the Flying Eagles came from the penalty spot 21 minutes into extra time after both teams were locked at 1-1 following regulation time.
Going into Friday’s encounter, the Flying Eagles coach Ladan Bosso said his boys are keen to win the trophy and are ready to give their all to achieve that.
He said “We are happy to have the AFCON ticket under our belts now, but we want more.
“The Cup is now within reach and we will go all out for it. We want to be WAFU B champions. That will give us a tremendous boost going into the African championship next year.”
The 2023 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations in Egypt is billed to take place between February 18 and March 12, 2023
The top four teams will represent Africa at the FIFA U-20 World Cup to be held in Indonesia later in 2023
Ghana, the reigning African champions, will not be in Egypt to defend their title having been knocked out at the WAFU B tournament.