Nigeria’s national Under-20 team; the Flying Eagles will begin their quest to qualify for the 2019 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations and by extension the World Youth Championship when they take on their counterparts from Guinea Bissau on Saturday.
Nigeria surprisingly missed out of the 2017 edition having lost to Sudan despite taking a healthy first leg advantage into the second leg in Lagos. The Nigerians must now find a way to qualify for the next edition under head coach Paul Aigbogun who also doubles as the head coach of former league champions Enyimba.
Winners in their last appearance at the Under-20 AFCON in 2015, Nigeria were given a bye into this stage of the qualifiers where they will now face their less-fancied opponents who edged Sierra Leone 1-0 on aggregate in the elimination round.
Saturday’s first leg will take place at Bissau’s Estadio 24 de Setembro with the return leg fixed for a week later in Nigeria’s southern city of Calabar.
The current Flying Eagles side is captained by 2018 CHAN revelation Ikouwem Udoh and the team also have Peter Eneji; sent off in the CHAN final against Morocco as well as exciting talents in the Nigeria Professional Football League including Akwa United’s trio of Aminu Nuhu, Aniekeme Asuquo and Adesina Gata.
Should Nigeria go past Guinea Bissau, they will face the winners of the tie between Mauritania and Guinea. The first leg also holds this weekend in Nouakchott.
The 2019 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations will be hosted by Niger Republic and will serve as qualifiers for the 2019 Under-20 World Youth Championship to be hosted by Poland.
Other Under-20 AFCON qualifying fixtures:
Algeria vs Ghana
The Gambia vs Benin Republic
Burkina Faso vs Libya
Gabon vs Coted’voire
Rwanda vs Zambia
Burundi vs Sudan
Uganda vs Cameroon
Tanzania vs Mali
Mozambique vs South Africa
Malawi vs Angola
Botswana vs Congo Brazaville
Senegal vs Egypt