The president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau, has charged the Golden Eaglets to go for another three points in today’s clash with Morocco’s U17 team in order to book an early spot in the tournament quarter-finals.
Speaking during a visit to the team’s camp in Constantine on Monday night, he reiterated that the boys need to give their all to defeat group leaders Morocco and climb to the top of the pool ahead of the final Group B matches on Saturday.
“Let me start by congratulating you on your victory over Zambia on Sunday. It was a tough game but your quality showed in your ability to pick the three points. However, nothing has been won yet. You must go all out against Morocco to achieve victory and bounce back to the top of the group.
“It is important to assure of your qualification to the knock-out rounds early so that you avoid all kinds of permutations before the last match of the group phase. Nigerians are watching and supporting you in scores of millions and you cannot afford to disappoint our people.”
Favour Daniel’s strike from a goalmouth melee, 14 minutes from time, handed the five-time world champions all three points against Zambia at the Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui on Sunday evening but Morocco defeated South Africa’s Amajimbo 2-0 hours later to leap to the top of the group on a goal advantage over the Eaglets.
As a 12-nation tournament, the first two top-placed teams in each of the three groups will advance to the quarter-finals, alongside the best two third-placed teams.
The quarter-final matches will produce the four semi-finalists, who will also automatically qualify as Africa’s representatives at this year’s FIFA U17 World Cup finals.