Head Coach Paul Aigbogun has declared that the objectives of his Nigeria U20 boys’ two–match tour of Egypt have been met, despite the Flying Eagles losing narrowly 1-2 to their Egyptian counterparts in the second match in Alexandria on Wednesday.
Both teams had played out a scoreless draw at the same Borg El-Arab Stadium in Egypt’s second city on Monday.
“In friendly matches, it is not the result that matters. We drew our first leg and lost the second 1-2 but I am very happy that not only have we come away with vital lessons, our objectives for the tour have been met.
“We came here to look at the boys we have put together and that we are working with, and to see if we are on the right path. On the evidence of performance by the boys from the two matches, I believe we are. We also came here to see how they would cope in game situations, and we were not disappointed.”
Aigbogun contended that his boys were encouraging in their output as well as on-field and off-field discipline, and that “losing narrowly against an Egyptian U20 side that had been in camp for upwards of one year was not a bad performance but a message to work harder.”
AFC Bournemouth of England ace Nathan Nnamdi Ofoborh, invited by Aigbogun to come and show his stuff after he opted to represent Nigeria and not England, played his first match for Nigeria in Wednesday’s encounter.
Plateau United FC defender Mike Zaruma lashed a long –range strike for Nigeria with 18 minutes to go to half the deficit, after the Egyptians had scored once in each half.
The seven –time African champions are due back in the country on Thursday, and will play the winner of the Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau preliminary fixture in the first round of the 2019 Africa U20 Cup of Nations qualifiers in May.