Ugbade charges Eaglets ahead WAFU final

Nduka-Ugbade

Head coach Nduka Ugbade has told his U-17 boys they still have grounds to conquer despite securing a ticket to the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations in Algeria next year.

“We are going into the final match, and we are up against Burkina Faso, a team that has won all their four matches in this competition. We have also won our three matches here, but we must win the fourth and final one to clinch the trophy.

“Let us not allow Burkina Faso to play five matches and win all five matches. We must work assiduously to win all our four matches here to be the only undefeated team of the tournament,” Ugbade told the Golden Eaglets at a training session in Cape Coast, Ghana on Wednesday.

Ugbade, himself an U-17 World Cup winner, and the Eaglets have drawn rave reviews so far at the WAFU B U-17 Championship, after scoring 10 goals in three matches and conceding only four, as left-back Emmanuel Michael picked up the Man-of-The-Match award in each of the three games.

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While Nigeria did the business in a three-team Group A that also included hosts Ghana and Togo, Burkina Faso were in the four-team group that had Niger Republic, Ivory Coast and Benin Republic. The Young Etalons dominated them all, and then pipped three-time world champions Ghana 1-0 in the second semi-final on Tuesday to set up a potentially explosive final against the Eaglets.

Dead ball revelation Emmanuel Michael will be the cynosure of all eyes at the Cape Coast Stadium on Friday (today) evening, having scored thrice from free-kicks for Nigeria in this tournament.

The match begins at 6.30pm Ghana time (7.30pm Nigeria time).

Nigeria and Burkina Faso have already qualified for the Africa U-17 Championship in Algeria next year, from where Africa’s flagbearers to the 2023 U-17 World Cup in Peru will emerge.

theeditor[at]punchng.com

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