Head coach of Nigeria’s Under 20 team, the Flying Eagles; Isa Ladan Bosso says he now wants to fight for the title after achieving the primary goal of qualification for the World Youth Championships.
Bosso’s wards ground out a 1-0 win over Uganda last Thursday to qualify for the semi-final of the U20 AFCON currently going on in Egypt and consequently earn a spot at this year’s U20 World Cup to be hosted by Indonesia.
Ladan Bosso and his boys will now face an invincible The Gambia team at the Cairo International Stadium on Monday evening for a place in the continental final. The West Africans are yet to concede a goal in the tournament and trounced South Sudan 5-0 in their quarter finals game.
“Although there are no big or small teams in football these days because it’s only performance and result that counts, I know we will face a team that has not been defeated in the tournament so far,” began Bosso at the pre-match press conference on Sunday.
“The most important thing for us in the tournament is that we qualified for the World Cup. Now we will fight to win the title,” he emphasised.
Nigeria are returning to Cairo after playing their last two matches in Ismailia at the Suez Canal Authority Stadium. Bosso says he is glad to return to the main venue for the competition which has a better playing surface, obviously.
“I’m happy to be back in Cairo once again after we played the last two matches in Ismailia We lost the first match and we have not lost any match since then.”
“Tomorrow we will face The Gambia who are a strong team and we respect them well but we will work to present a good level to win,” added Bosso who has been working with Nigeria underage sides since 1992.
Nigeria have a bit of mixed news ahead of Monday’s semi-final clash. Captain Daniel Kolocho Bameyi returns to the side after missing the Uganda game due to card suspension but midfielder Daniel Daga who got injured during the first game against Senegal is now ruled out of the remainder of the tournament.
Nigeria vs The Gambia will kick-off at 6pm Nigerian time on Monday. The other semi-final game will be decided at the same venue just before Nigeria’s game kicks off. Favourites Senegal will face Tunisia from 3pm Nigerian time.
Picture credit: CAF Website