Nigeria’s U20 squad, the Flying Eagles, will depart the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja aboard an Ethiopian Airways flight on Wednesday, 6th July on their way to Khartoum for a 2017 Africa U20 Cup of Nations qualifying match against their Sudanese counterparts.
Coach Emmanuel Amuneke, while addressing the boys Saturday morning after their 8-0 thrashing of Oyah Sports FC of Suleja in a friendly, described the match in Sudan as ‘the mother of all battles’ and warned that the team must maintain high level of discipline and focus to surmount this final hurdle.
“Let me first congratulate you for the performance today. I am impressed with your approach to the game from start to finish. I hope we all realise the enormity of the task ahead, as we must remain focused and disciplined to achieve our aim of picking one of the seven tickets to the continental soccer showpiece,” he said.
In the absence of forward Victor Osimhen who has just returned to training after injury, Orji Okonkwo has continued to fill the void, banging in two against the U23 Eagles and three on Saturday against the Suleja -based Nationwide League side.
ABS FC of Ilorin forward Kehinde Ayinde has also discovered his scoring form. The petit striker scored two as the Flying Eagles thrashed Amakson Academy 4-1 on Wednesday morning and added another two on Saturday to take his tally to four in two matches. Left back Umar Johnson scored his first goal for the Flying Eagles and celebrated with team-mates, while second half substitutes Samuel Chukwueze and Kelechi Nwakali completed the rout to make it 8-0 in favour of the Flying Eagles.
The Emmanuel Amuneke –tutored side has played over twenty friendly matches since starting its camping in Abuja on 9thApril, drawing only two and losing none. The team will tackle a Sudanese side that is yet to kick a ball in the qualifiers following the withdrawal of second round opponent, Malawi. The match earlier fixed for Friday, 8th July, has now been moved to Sunday, 10th July by the Sudanese Football Federation.
The Flying Eagles will take on City Strikers of Abuja on Tuesday evening at the mainbowl of the National Stadium, Abuja in their last friendly game before departing for Sudan.