As the 2023 CAF U17 Africa Cup of Nations in Algeria draws nearer, Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets and their Group B opponents have been engaging in friendly matches to prepare for the tournament, Soccernet.ng reports.
The matches have allowed the teams to assess their readiness and test their systems ahead of the tournament.
Nigeria, who have qualified for the U17 AFCON a record number of times, have played a total of 11 friendly matches, winning 10 of them.
Most of these matches were played against local clubs and academies in Nigeria. The Golden Eaglets won their most recent match against Kano Pillars with a scoreline of 3-0.
The coach Nduka Ugbade-tutored side had earlier stunned Galadima 3-1, crushed Siawan Academia 9-2, embarrassed FC Mail 5-1, and taught AC Rome a bitter lesson with a 3-0 triumph.
However, the Eaglets will face tougher Group B opponents in Morocco, South Africa and Zambia at the U17 AFCON. Zambia and Morocco have also been putting in the work ahead of the tournament.
The Zambian youngsters played against Zambian top-flight club Napsa Stars, losing 4-1, before bouncing back to defeat hosts Algeria 4-2 in a friendly match played in Algiers. The Junior Chipolopolo also recorded an impressive 4-2 win over Senegal.
Morocco, another team in Group B, also organized several friendly matches as part of their preparation. The Atlas Lions defeated Mali 1-0 before suffering a 2-1 defeat in a second fixture against the West Africans.
The Moroccans also secured a 3-2 victory against Senegal in another friendly match.
The Golden Eaglets have won the U17 AFCON a joint-high two times but are the undisputed kings of the game, having lifted a record five World Cup trophies.
The 2023 CAF U17 Africa Cup of Nations promises to be an exciting event, with some of the best young talents on the continent showcasing their skills. The tournament is set to kick off this weekend, and fans will be eagerly anticipating the start of what is sure to be a mouth-watering competition.