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Ugbade believes the semi-final match against the Ivoirians is the most important game of the tournament.

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Head coach of the Nigerian national U-17 men’s football team, NdukaUgbade, has expressed confidence in the ability of his boys to beat Ivory Coast in the semi-final of the WAFU B U-17 tournament in Ghana. Nigeria is set to play the Ivoirians on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, in the Cape Coast Stadium as both teams jostle for the 2023 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations ticket in Algeria. The other semi-final game will see hosts Ghana battle it out with Burkina Faso.
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Speaking ahead of the must-win tie against Ivory Coast, NdukaUgbade who captained Nigeria to their first FIFA U-17 World Cup win in China, 1985 (the first edition of the tournament) stated that it is the most important match of the regional competition for his side.
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“By the special grace of God, we will subdue Ivory Coast and qualify. Because, like I said to them, the trophy is not important you must win the last match to win the trophy and this is not the last match this is the most important match, win this one and you are assured to get to the finals in Algeria.”

Nduka Ugbade

It will be recalled that Nigeria beat Ghana 4-2 in the tournament’s Group A opening game before seeing off Togo 3-1 in their second group game to make it to the semi-final. The 2023 U-17 AFCON in Algeria will see the top four teams qualify for the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru.


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This article was first published on 21st June 2022


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