The Golden Eaglets are confident they will qualify for the FIFA U17 World Cup at the expense of sub-regional rivals Burkina Faso tomorrow night in Algiers.
The winners of tomorrow’s U17 AFCON quarterfinal between the two West African countries will book their passage to the World Cup.
This will be the second time within a year that both countries have clashed after the Nigerians stopped the Junior Stallions 2-1 in the final of the WAFU B U17 AFCON qualifiers in Ghana last June.
Striker Charles Agada, who is built like a bull, said the Eaglets hope to be more clinical in front of goal tomorrow.
“We pray to play very well according to instructions of our coaches,” said the Mavlon FC star, who missed the WAFU qualifiers due to injury.
“Burkina Faso are a good team, but we are optimistic of winning by converting our chances into goals. We will work very hard to win the game.”
Another striker Abdullahi Abubakar said he expects another tough match against Burkina Faso, but the Eaglets are driven to qualify for the World Cup.
“We will not underrate Burkina Faso but play our game with a strong mentality to win,” vowed the striker, who scored twice in the WAFU Final last year.
“The game will not be easy no doubt about that, but we are focused on winning and qualifying for the World Cup.”
Coach Nduka Ugbade was clear the target tomorrow night is World Cup qualification.
“The quarterfinal matches will be very hard nuts to crack because that is the step that earns you the World Cup ticket. None of the four games will be easy,” he remarked.
“Our interest is Burkina Faso and we are working hard towards achieving success.
“We have not come this far to drop out. My boys are focused hard on the World Cup ticket. After that, we can then focus on other objectives.”
This West African Derby will kick off by 8pm inside the magnificent Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers.