U-23 Eagles in epic battle against Libya for Cup of Nations’ ticket

The Olympic Eagles will meet Libya in the second leg of their African U-23 Nations Cup qualifying series. PHOTO: AFP.

The U-23 national team have a herculean task to surmount against the Libyans opposition in today’s second leg clash of the U-23 Cup of Nations qualifier slated for the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State. Nigeria lost 0-2 in the first leg played in Ben Guerdane, Tunisia, last week Wednesday.

A goal in each half of the encounter ensured that the Libyans triumphed over the Africa champions, coupled with the dismissal of the Nigeria’s goalkeeper, who was ruled to have handled the ball outside the box. It made a comeback by the Eagles impossible.

However, with the inclusion of Super Eagles’ players such as goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, defenders Chidozie Awaziem and Valentine Ozornwafor and striker Victor Osimhen into the team, the U-23 Eagles may now have enough arsenal to prevail over the threat of the North Africans.

Former U-17 World Cup winners, Kelechi Nwakali, Samuel Chukwueze and Taiwo Awoniyi, who were in Ben Guerdane have been training with the Olympic Eagles with the rest of the players in the camp.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s officials have been appointed by the Confederation of African Football for today’s game, with Anthony Ogwayo to serve as referee, while Oliver Omondi Odhiambo will be assistant referee one and Tony Mudanyi Kidiya will serve, as assistant referee two. Israel Lemayian Mpaima will be the fourth official. The match commissioner is Marcelin Gaha Djiadeu from Cameroon.

Three Africa’s representatives will hoist the continent’s flag at next year’s Olympics men’s football event in Tokyo after emerging from the third Africa U-23 Cup of Nations scheduled for Egypt in November.

Today’s make-or-break encounter begins at 4pm.

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