Soccernet.ng previews the make or break fixture between Amajimbos and the Golden Eaglets
Nigeria face South Africa having in mind that anything short of victory could spell disaster to their U17 World Cup.
The Golden Eaglets stuttered against Morocco following a 1-0 defeat to the North Africans as a result of Tochukwu Ogboji’s second minute own goal.
On the other side, Amajimbos – who revived their title bid with a hard-fought 3-2 win versus Zambia – would be keen to keep the momentum going against Nduka Ugbade’s lads.
A draw on Saturday could see both countries qualify for the knockout phase depending on how things turn out in other groups.
Nigeria Team News
Predicted XI: Odoh, Lawali, Michael, Ogboji, Olaleke, Linus, Owoyemi, Abdullahi, Williams, Ogbadibo, Daniel
Until their 1-0 loss to Morocco, Nigeria had won their previous five fixtures in all competitions.
There, they scored leaked five goals while finding the net on 13 occasions. The Golden Eaglets are a potential threat to any team considering their fierce attacking strength
Having won consecutive man-of-the-match against Zambia and Morocco, Yahaya Lawali no doubt is Nigeria’s biggest asset in the ongoing tournament. Though a right-back, the youngster is a threat when he joins forces with this side’s attack line.
What their coach said?
“We have put the defeat against Morocco behind our backs and we are fully focused on getting a good result against South Africa. We didn’t deserve to lose against Morocco because we dominated the game but couldn’t convert our chances,” Ugbade told Caf media.
“We want to be more effective, more prolific in front of goal. It is a bit confusing because when we were in Nigeria preparing, we were scoring so many goals but when we came here we are not doing that. Sometimes with these young ones it is about psychology and we have addressed that.”
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).
South Africa Team News
Predicted XI: Johnson, Renecke, Manyama, Cicero, Wallis, Kekana, Mkhawana, Mabena, Baartman, Dokunmu, Amato
Duncan Crowie’s boys have enjoyed contrasting fortunes going by their results in recent times.
In their last seven outings, they boast four victories while losing three times.
Their biggest win remains an 11-0 thumping of Seychelles in an African U17 qualifiers in December, 2022.
Wing wizard Vicky Mkhawana is a potent force in Crowie’s squad. The 17-year-old Kaizer Chiefs was on song twice against the Junior Chipolopolo and was deservedly named man-of-the-match.
What their coach said?
“Nigeria played a very quality game in their last match and we know they will come in to this tie like a wounded animal,” Crowie told Caf website.
“They can be a very dangerous team and there is always quality in that side. It will be a fantastic game. Despite losing that game, I still think they had a lot of quality that should not be ignored.
“We want to concentrate on getting a result for ourselves and not having to depend on someone else. Our ultimate goal is to go into the match with an objective to win.
“We don’t care if Nigeria comes spitting fire. We want our boys to spit more fire. Whoever wants it more will get it.”
SOUTH AFRICA SQUAD IN FULL
Goalkeepers: Takalani Mazhamba (Kaizer Chiefs FC), Gennaro Johnson (Cape Town Spurs FC), Kyle Jansen (Atlanta United FC)
Defenders: Xhosa Manyama (Cape Town City FC), Keitumetse Lesia (Supersport United FC), Waylon Renecke (Norwich City FC), Benjamin Wallace (Supersport United FC), Vincent Sithole (Mamelodi Sundowns FC), Tyler Cicero (Stellenbosch FC), Thato Sibiya (Mamelodi Sundowns FC0
Midfielders: Xolani Tshaka (Orlando Pirates FC), Gomolemo Kekana (TS Galaxy FC), Vicky Mkhawana (Kaizer Chiefs FC), Xavier Jodamus (Ubuntu Academy), Dhakier Lee (Cape Town Spurs FC)
Forwards: Luke Baartman (Cape Town Spurs FC), Michael Dokunmu (Vittese FC), Orifha Maubelo (Capital City FC), Bennet Mokoena (Mamelodi Sundowns FC), Gabriel Amato (Capital City FC), Siyabonga Mabena (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)