Nigeria battle Mozambique for quarterfinal ticket | The Guardian Nigeria News

Nigeria battle Mozambique for quarterfinal ticket | The Guardian Nigeria News

CAF Appoints Congolese Referee For Crucial Tie
After a brave Group A clash with hosts, Egypt, which the Flying Eagles won 1-0 to rekindle their hopes of making the second round of the ongoing African U-20 Nations Cup, Nigeria will return to the pitch today for a battle that would finally decide whether they join Senegal in the quarterfinals of the competition.

Nigeria lost their first game against Senegal 0-1, but got a hope reviving victory against the Young Pharaohs, who must defeat Senegal and pray that Mozambique beat the Flying Eagles to remain in the competition.

The Nigerian delegation left Cairo, yesterday, for Ismailia, venue of the game against Mozambique with the team promising they would continue from where they stopped against Egypt.

According to, Head Coach, Isah Ladan Bosso, said during breakfast yesterday that the squad’s confidence and go-go spirit have returned after Wednesday’s victory over Egypt, adding that he expects a strong performance against the southern Africans whom they confront at the 22,000 -capacity Suez Canal Stadium this evening.

“The win over Egypt has kept the nerves down and the boys can now focus on playing their game; the way we know they can play. We must stamp our authority on the game from the beginning, as we have no idea what will happen in the match between Egypt and Senegal. Our fate is in our hands.”

Table-toppers, Senegal, are walking a few inches taller around the Jewel Sport City, having amassed a maximum six points from their two matches and looking forward to taking on the host nation at the Cairo International Stadium.

Both matches kick off simultaneously at 7.00 p.m. Egypt time (6.00 p.m. Nigeria time).

The Flying Eagles will welcome back Belgium-based forward, Ahmed Abdullahi, who was expelled for a second bookable offence in the opening day defeat to Senegal.

Victory over Mozambique will guarantee Nigeria a place in the last eight, and leave them with only that quarterfinal headwind to sail into the FIFA U-20 World Cup finals holding in Indonesia early summer.

Egypt, with only one point, can still qualify if they defeat Senegal, but final placement in Group A, as well as the two other groups, will determine the pairings for the quarterfinals. The first-placed team in Group A will battle the third-placed team in Group B, while the second-placed team in Group A will confront the first-placed team in Group B.

Both Uganda and Congo top Group B with four points each and similar statistics, with South Sudan in third place and the Central African Republic without a point.

Tunisia, Benin Republic, Zambia and The Gambia make up Group C.

Only the two top-placed teams in each group are guaranteed a place in the last eight, alongside the best two third-placed teams.

All four semifinalists will fly Africa’s flag in Indonesia from May 20 to June 11.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has appointed Yannick Malala Kabanga from the Democratic Republic of Congo, as referee for the Group A clash between Nigeria and Mozambique.

Kabanga will be assisted by Styven Moutsassi Moyo from the Republic of Congo (assistant referee 1), Pascal Ndimunzigo from Burundi (assistant referee 2) and Moroccan Jalal Jayed, who will serve as fourth official.

Justin Mumba from Zambia will be the match commissioner, while Beninoise, Rosalie N’dah, will be the referee assessor.

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