By Ebenezer Bajela.
Ahead of Wednesday’s (today) second game against Morocco at the ongoing U-17 AFCON in Algeria, President, Nigeria Football Federation, Ibrahim Gusau, has charged the Golden Eaglets to go for a win as they bid to book an early spot to the tournament’s quarter-finals.
Favour Daniel’s 76th-minute striker handed the five-time world champions all three points against Zambia in their opening group game at the Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Morocco defeated South Africa 2-0 to go top of Group B on goals advantage over the Eaglets.
During his visit to the team’s camp in Constantine, Gusau in company with NFF board member, Ganiyu Majekodunmi, and General Secretary Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, told the team, “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 knockout 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 their millions and you cannot afford to disappoint our people.”
As a 12-nation tournament, the top two teams in each of the three groups will advance to the quarter-finals, alongside the best two third-place teams.
The four semi-finalists will also automatically qualify as Africa’s representatives to this year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup finals.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of Africa Football has named Malian official Ousmane Diakate as referee for today’s clash between Nigeria and Morocco in Constantine.
Queency Clodia Victoire from Mauritius will be assistant referee 1, Cape Verde’s Djêry Gomes Lopes is assistant referee 2, while Ben Amisy Tsimanohitsy from Madagascar will serve as fourth official.
Negash Teklit Negassi from Eritrea is the match commissioner, with Raphael Evehe Divine from Cameroon the referee assessor. Gabonese Eric Otogo Castane is general coordinator.