After missing out in the 2021 edition which was later cancelled due to the Covid -19 pandemic, Nigeria’s Flying Eagles will be aiming to redeeming their image by picking the ticket to Indonesia 2023 when they confront Uganda this evening.
A win assures their qualification for the 13th time for the FIFA event which they first featured in 40 years ago in Mexico.
Nigeria coach Ladan Bosso has his sights set on booking a World Cup ticket when his Flying Eagles face Uganda in the quarter-finals of the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The record champions are back in the quarter-finals of the tournament after failing to make the last edition in Mauritania.
Nigeria finished second in Group A behind Senegal and will be going into Thursday’s match with a lot of confidence following their back to back win in the group stage.
“We all know that Nigeria has qualified to the quarter-final stage and knowing fully that we have an objective of coming out of this place and the least task ahead of us is to pick one of the slots to the FIFA U-20 World Cup,” said coach Ladan Bosso.
“We’re almost there but it is not yet sealed. We believe and hope that at the end of the regulation time tomorrow we should be celebrating.”
The experienced Bosso says the Flying Eagles will not underestimate the Hippos who reached the final on their debut two years ago.
“The Ugandan team is equally qualified and they’re our next opponents and we cannot underrate any team,” Ladan Bosso said.
“The knockout stage if you don’t squeeze through it’s as if you didn’t qualify so we will do all we can do to make sure we go through to the World Cup.
“We have our strategy and we hope our plan will work accordingly.”
Goalkeeper Chijioke Aniagboso joined the Flying Eagles boss at the pre-match press conference for the big clash on Thursday.
The Giant Brillars FC custodian says they need to work even harder to beat the Hippos of Uganda.
“We will continue from where we stopped improving our game but we’re happy to get to this stage,” Chijioke said.
“We need to work so much harder than how we started like my coach said losing this match is like not even qualifying at all so I think we’re prepared with the coaches and by god grace we will go through.
“We are in a confident mood because we started this and we have to end it. There’s no feeling or anything. Our job is to go to the field and up our game and book our ticket.”