Nigeria’s national U23 team; the Dream Team will begin their quest to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Men’s Football event when they face Libya in an U23 AFCON qualifier first leg second round clash on Wednesday.
Nigeria, bronze medal winners at the last Olympics in 2016 were drawn bye from the first round of qualifiers while their opponents Libya walked over West African side The Gambia in the first round.
The Dream Team 7 are coached by respected indigenous coach Imama Amapakabo, assisted by Kennedy Boboye and Fidelis Ilechukwu – head coaches of Nigeria Professional Football League sides Remo Stars and MFM FC respectively.
Amapakabo has assembled a 23-man squad of home and foreign based professionals who will be captained by Çaykur Rizespor of Turkey midfielder Okechukwu Azubuike who was also the captain of the last Under 23 squad prior to the 2016 Olympics.
2015 FIFA Under-17 World Cup winning stars led by Villareal starlet Samuel Chukwueze and Porto B’s Kelechi Nwakali and including John Lazarus, Udochukwu Anumudu, Kingsley Michael and Orji Okwonkwo are also in the squad.
Leading the home based contingent aside Lazarus and Anumudu are their teammate at Lobi Stars, Ebube Duru and Wikki Tourists goalkeeper Adamu Abubakar. There are also Akwa United’s Etiboy Akpan, Enyimba duo of Dare Olatunji and Stephen Manyo among others.
Wednesday’s match will hold at the March 7 Stadium in Ben Guerdane and will kick off at 4pm local time. The return leg will hold on Monday, March 25 at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta state.
Winner of the Libya vs Nigeria tie over two legs will face winner of the clash between Sudan and Kenya in June to determine which team qualify for the second edition of the U23 Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted by Egypt in November.