Soccernet.ng previews the AFCON U17 fixture between Nduka Ugbade’s Eaglets and their North African foes
Nigeria would be aiming to consolidate on their opening day win when they face Morocco at the ongoing U17 Africa Cup of Nations in Algeria.
Despite their dominance against Zambia on Day 1, the Golden Eaglets could only muster a slim 1-0 victory in Constantine.
Regardless, they occupy the second position in Group B following the Atlas Cubs’ 2-0 result over South Africa.
Victory for either side would ensure that a place in the quarter-final is guaranteed with a match to spare. However, the ultimate aim is to represent Africa when the world converges for the global football showpiece in a yet-to-be-decided country.
📹 HIGHLIGHTS: 🇲🇦 2-0 🇿🇦
— CAF (@CAF_Online) May 1, 2023
Nigeria Team News
Predicted XI: Odoh, Lawali, Michael, Ogboji, Olaleke, Linus, Owoyemi, Abdullahi, Williams, Ogbadibo, Daniel
Nduka Ugbade’s boys have won their last five matches in all competitions – scoring 13 times and conceding five times.
Impressively, they have won the African title for a joint record two times while conquering the world for a notable five times.
The Nigerians boast a robust attacking strength which has seen them score at least two times in a game with the exception of the outing against the Junior Chipolopolo.
Though right-back Yahaya Lawali was named man-of-the-match thanks to his awe-inspiring display against Ian Bakala’s side, the Golden Eaglets boast quality in their ranks such as Daniel, goalkeeper Odoh, and Light Eke – who missed a penalty.
What a performance! 😍🔝
— CAF (@CAF_Online) April 30, 2023
NIGERIA SQUAD IN FULL
Goalkeepers: Richard Odoh (HB Academy), Temiloluwa Adelakin (Box 2 Box Football Academy), Gift Ukeh Adie ( Paul E FA)
Defenders: Yahaya Lawali (Mahanaim FC), Emmanuel Michael (Simon Ben FA), Tochukwu Joseph Ogboji (Purple Crown FA), Jeremiah Olaleke (Ablaze Football Academy), Israel Usulor (Real Sapphire FC), Chijoke Julius Linus (Tripple 44 Football Academy), Quadri Adewale (Nathaniel Boys FC)
Midfielders: Haruna Abdullahi (Kurfi Tigers Academy), Umar Abubakar (Devine FA), Ifeoluwa Olowoporoku (Tripple 44 Academy), Hope Yusuf Linus (EE Sporting Club), Anongu Isaac Aondoakaa (Bethel Sporting), Simon Cletus (Mavlon FA), Musa Akinfenwa (Real Sapphire FC), Usman Ajibola Owoyemi (Tripple 44 FA), Mathew Awodi Kingsley (Brooke House College)
Forwards: Abubakar Idris Abdullahi (Jega United), Precious Williams (HB Football Academy), Charles Adah Agada (Mavlon FC), Jubril Opeyemi Azeez (Right Vision Choice), Tochukwu Ogbadibo (Jossy United), Light Chijioke Eke (C & C FA), Favour Daniel (G12 Football Academy).
Morocco Team News
Predicted XI: Benrhozil, Zahouani , Ait Boudlal, Bakhty, El Idrissi, Boufandar , Chakir, Maâli, Allaoui, Bougaizane, Ennair
Making their third appearance in the African cadet showpiece, the North Africans’ performance remains a fourth-place finish achieved in 2019.
Just like Nigeria, the Atlas Lions have won their last five outing in all competitions – conceding one in the process – a stat that testifies to their brilliant defensive network.
One of the players that could give Nigeria a restless evening is Adam Chakir. The 17-year-old is his country’s engine room – little wonder his displays against South Africa earned him the man-of-the-match award. Also to be mindful of are Marouane Rayan Bayad and Ajax starlet Zakaria Ouazane.
A well-earned award after a great performance.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) April 30, 2023
MOROCCO SQUAD IN FULL
Goalkeepers: Taha Benrhozil (Mohammed VI Football Academy), Hamza Jlid (Fath US), Imrane Sadiki (AS FAR)
Defenders: Hamza Koutoune (Mohammed VI Football Academy), Fouad Zahouani (Mohammed VI Football Academy), Abdelhamid Ait Boudlal (Mohammed VI Football Academy), Saifdine Chlaghmo (AS FAR), Mohammed Kebdani (AS FAR), Smail Bakhty (AS FAR)
Midfielders: Adam Boufandar (Juventus), Adam Chakir (Mohammed VI Football Academy), Mohamed Radouane (Fath US), Marouane Rayan Bayad (Mohammed VI Football Academy), Haitam El Mousse (Mohammed VI Football Academy), Abdel Hamid Maali (IR Tanger), Mohamed Amine Katiba (Hassania Agadir), Hamza El Motaouakkel (Mohammed VI Football Academy), Mohamed Zine El Abidine Hamony (Le Havre)
Forwards: Said Errafiy (Mohammed VI Football Academy), Adam Hanin (Fath US), Othmane Elidrissi Erahhali (Darmstadt 98), Mouad Bougaizane (AS FAR), Zakaria Ouazane (Ajax), Ayman Ennair (Fath US), Adnane El Ahmer (Raja), Zakaria Allaoui (Maghreb Fes)
Nigeria vs Morocco match preview
The Golden Eaglets take on the Moroccans with the Nigerians aiming to extend their 100% record in the championship..
Wednesday’s encounter in Constantine will be the first match between the two countries on the international scene.
Notwithstanding Nigeria’s pedigree in African football, coach Said Chiba knows his team cannot afford to falter.
“It will be a very difficult game and so will all the matches in this group. I watched Nigeria and it is a team which is very strong physically and quick on the offensive,” he told the Caf website.
“We definitely have to prepare and play them differently from the match against South Africa. We will try to be more organized.
“We have a lot of mutual respect with Nigeria and they have a really strong team. We will try to do better and balance our way of play to win this match. The target remains to get to the next round and this match will be key.”