Thursday’s quarter-final clash is billed for Nelson Mandela Stadium, Algiers
After navigating their way out of the group stage at the ongoing U17 Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets are off to Algiers where they will face Burkina Faso in the quarter-final stage.
Before now, the Eaglets have played all their games so far at the Stade Mohammed Hamlaoui, Constantine; winning two and losing one.
However, Thursday’s quarter-final clash billed for Nelson Mandela Stadium, Algiers, is very crucial as the winner of that contest will not only progress into the semi-final but also secure a berth in the U17 World Cup billed for later this year.
While many will be quick to label the Golden Eaglets as the favourites going into Thursday’s tie, Burkina Faso have proved to be a decent side as they also finished second in their group just like their Nigerian counterparts.
Eliminating Cameroon who are the defending champions is also another reason Burkina Faso will have to be taken seriously by Nduka Ugbade’s boys.
Already, the head coach of the Burkina Faso U17 team, Brahima Traore, is talking tough as he has underlined their readiness to qualify for the World Cup at the expense of Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets.
While speaking ahead of the game, Traore said their objective is to qualify for the World Cup and also attempt to win the African crown.
“We had two objectives in this tournament; first to get to the semi-finals and then to fight for the title. We will prepare well for Nigeria to enable us to get to the semis and earn the World Cup ticket,” he said.
This will be the second time both sides clash in less than a year having first clashed at the WAFU B final in Cape Coast Ghana where Nigeria won.