Starting from this Sunday afternoon, Nigeria’s Super Eagles are to truncate a possible four-fold target by Senegal as the Africa Cup of nations for the Under 20 gets underway.
Senegal are the reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions and earlier this month added the CHAN title in Algeria. They are also the seven-time African champions as well as reigning champions in CAF Beach Soccer competition.
Victory in the CAF Under 20 Nations Cup will give the Senegalese a clean sweep of all the African national competitions.
To avert a possible Senegal’s quadruple, the Herculean task begins with the Nigeria Flying Eagles as they face Senegal in Cairo.
They also put at stake, the record seven-time win of the African title in the Group A opener.
The Flying Eagles failed to qualify for the last edition of the tournament in Mauritania, but, according to CAFonline, captain Daniel Daga has his sights on a World Cup berth and a record extending eighth title.
“We are proud to be in Egypt for this great tournament and we want to qualify for the FIFA World Cup and win the tournament,” the Dakkada FC midfielder said.
Nigeria qualified for U-20 Africa Cup of Nations Egypt 2023 by virtue of emerging Champions at WAFU B U-20 regional tournament in May 2022 in Niger.
In the process of team’s qualification, the Nigeria U-20 men’s team defeated 2021 AFCON cup holders, Ghana 2-0 , Cote’d Ivoire 2-1 in the semi final and Benin Republic 3-1 on final day to be crowned WAFU B regional champions.
“Nigeria has experience in major tournaments and we’re in Egypt to compete and we will give our best,” head coach Ladan Bosso said.
The seven time champions are in Group A with host country Egypt, Mozambique and Sunday’s opponents Senegal.
The match between the two West African giants will be the repeat of the 2015 final which Nigeria won in Dakar courtesy Bernard Bulbwa’s goal.
“We received the support of the Nigeria Football Federation as we prepared for tournament with regular camps to be at a very good level,” Bosso added.
Nigeria claimed the first of their seven titles in 1983 and the most recent in 2015. The Flying Eagles have lost only two finals in 1999 and 2007 while finishing third on three occasions in 1995, 2005, 2013 and fourth in 2019.