The football rivalry that has long existed between neighbours Nigeria and Ghana is set to be rekindled at the ongoing WAFU B tournament in the Benin Republic.
After failing to get the maximum points in their opening group game against Cote d’Ivoire, the Nigeria U-20 team will be fired up for victory against their fierce rivals, Ghana in Wednesday’s make-or-mar tie.
The Flying Eagles were punished for losing concentration at the death in Sunday’s outing but the team’s coach, Ladan Bosso, says they have learned their lessons and are now ready to nation proud.
“I thought we did enough to pick up the three points against the Ivorians but we lost concentration towards the tail end of the game and were punished for it,” Bosso told thenff.com
“We controlled the game for most parts and should have won but the red card destabilised my boys and put us out of sync tactically. The clash with Ghana will be tough but we are ready. The boys understand what is at stake and I have confidence they will do the nation proud.”
“Our target here remains the same: winning the tournament and qualifying for the CAF U20 Cup of Nations in Mauritania,” the Flying Eagles coach added.
Also speaking with thenff.com, Mike Zaruma, who captained the Flying Eagles against the Ivorians, echoed Coach Bosso’s optimism.
He said; “Taking only one point from the tie with the Ivorians was a tough one because we played better and created more chances to win the game. We felt disappointed but that is behind us now and Ghana is the focus. We know that we must win to enhance our chances of reaching the knockout stage.
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“I believe in what we can do as a team. We are ready to pick the three points against Ghana in order to make Nigerians happy.”
Vincent Kabore from Burkina Faso has been appointed to handle the game between Ghana and Nigeria.
Referee Kabore will be assisted by compatriot Sibiri Wendpanga Stephane Yameogo (Assistant Referee I), Soufia Soufi Abdou Garba (Assistant Referee II) from Niger and Moussa Ahmadou Alou Ahamadou from Niger (Fourth Official).