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U-20 AFCON: Aigbogun Focuses On Nigeria Vs Niger After Draw Vs South Africa

U-20 AFCON: Aigbogun Focuses On Nigeria Vs Niger After Draw Vs South Africa

Flying Eagles head coach Paul Aigbogun says the team has moved on from Tuesday’s disappointing 0- 0 draw with the Amajita of South Africa in their Group A clash at the 2019 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations and now focused on the next clash against hosts Niger, reports Completesports.com.


Aigbogun’s men were denied an early chance to secure a place in the last four and book a ticket to the FIFA U -20 World Cup in Poland by their spirited South African opponents who shut them out for the entire duration of the game.

The Flying Eagles had 66% of the ball possession and 13 shots on target, but they found the defence as well as goalkeeper and skipper Kubeka unbeatable.

Zenith Ziva

It was a story of wave after wave of Nigerian attacks against South Africa’s resolute defence.

In the dying minutes, a pile-driver by midfielder Jamil Mohammed from the edge of the box was saved by Kubeka.

Also Read: AVERAGE SHOWING: Flying Eagles’ Rating Vs South Africa

And Aigbogun reckons that good discipline in Amajita’s play derailed the Flying Eagles’ ambition of reaching the knockout stages of this continental tournament after two group games.

“We actually came into this encounter hoping for a win,” Aigbogun told reporters after the game against South Africa.d

“However, we played against a very strong side who were very organized in how they approached this match and were consistent in their performance.

“We will take this point and try to do our utmost best in our upcoming group game.”

Nigeria still lead Group A with four points, while Niger and South Africa occupy second and third positions respectively with two points. Burundi are bottom with one point.

The Flying Eagles final group game is against the host nation Niger on Friday, while South Africa will face Burundi.

By Adeboye Amosu

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  • Mr man shut up ur dirty mouth.u dnt have a game plan

    • greenturf 3 years ago

      Show respect man.His wards put up a great game i was very impressed by their performance.
      Apparently i wont be surprised if a few of his boys makes the grade to the super eagles in the nearest future they are that good.
      God bless Nigeria

      • Chima E Samuels 3 years ago

        They were good but the final 3rd was a mock as usual it tells you there was no plan b to unlock that defence!

        • Greenturf 3 years ago

          The same final third you are slagging off scored twice against Burundi in the teams opener.
          The truth is S/Africa had a great game with a very organised defensive formation with amazing telepathy which our boys couldn’t unlock.Not because they weren’t good enough you should give credit as well to south Africa.They had a well executed game plan.
          God bless Nigeria

          • Greenturf, where did you watch the match, mate?

      • I disagree with you @greenturf. I watched the game and personally I don’t think there’s anything inspiring about this Flying Eagles set, compared to the much younger, more mobile and more skilled 2017 team coached by Emmanuel Amunike and led by Kelechi Nwakali and the gang of FIFA Under 17 winners. Although they lost out to an outrageously over-aged Sudan “under 20” side, it was a team to be a proud and the bulk of that group are still doing great for themselves professionally.

        There are young, exceptional and truly under 20 talents in the local clubs and academies in Agege, Ajegunle, PH, Kano, Owerri, Enugu, Makurdi, Jos etc. The coach just has to knuckle down and get to work, combing the nooks and cranies of the country. That was what Amunike did for close to a year before finally unveiling his team and discovering some of the current SE prospects.

        Amunike to me seemed a stickler for outstanding young talents for age grade competitions. He’ll comb local teams and academies to get his team — never in the NPFL or NNL. Oshimen, Nwakali, Samuel Chukwueze and the rest never played professionally before Amunike thrust them into limelight and we can all see their young faces today and the great things they’re doing in their top European clubs.

        In contrast, this Paul Aigbogun’s team (seriously, I thought this guy would be a stickler for true under 20’s) were evidently more advanced in age than the South Africans. Granted, the rigorous training routine of athletes may sometimes make them look older than they are, but hey, the South Africans are footballers and I’m sure they train regularly too. The Senegalese team are another truly under 20 team or at least look younger and they are the best so far. They beat another cheating team, Ghana whose player even look much older than ours. Thank goodness they were spanked 2-0.

        The Nigerian team I watched against SA played disjointedly. No spark, no exceptional player that caught the eye, and no penetrating gameplay or tactics to raise hopes or keep one optimistic. I’m sorry I’m sounding bluntly (or if you like, coldly) pessimistic, but that is just it for me. Seriously, I won’t bat an eyelid if they go out, just as I don’t really care for Nigerian clubsides in CAF Club competitions for now (except maybe Kano Pillars or Enyimba are representing). My only Nigerian football team passion is the Super Eagles.

        • greenturf 3 years ago

          @Kel,To make things clear based on my observations the team created replete of chances but for a very organised S/African team which sat back to sock the pressure with a very organised rearguard which was resolute.
          Apparently Nigeria had chances to finish the game off but for poor decision making especially in the final third cost them.The Nigerian side had a sweet and smooth build up play with a very good central defence pairings making sure the keeper is safe.We have two good full backs and a very good goalkeeper whose ball distributions was eye catchy.The problem the team had was in the final third because S/African defended very deep in their box to frustrate the flying eagles.
          However this team will qualify.More so with the European contacts the gaffer has we look forward to a better balanced team in Poland.

    • Nicolsen 3 years ago

      I agree… he has no game plan with his average players.

  • Chima E Samuels 3 years ago

    CS 13 shots only 2 on target get your facts right. If 13 Shot was on target there would have been a goal regardless of how good the keeper is. Mr Coach you have no excuse!

  • Franklin 3 years ago

    it worries me dat he didn’t invite dat Watford player dis is how we loose our players 2 other countries. He would have added something 2 our attack

    • @Franklin, Jayden Bennetts of Watford was invited, and allowed to train with the Flying Eagles, but was recalled to play in an FA youth game for Watford just before they departed for the competition. Nigeria cannot force the issue legally as AFCON is not a FIFA arranged game. Watfrd have said if we want him they will release him for the World Cup tournament inPoland later in the year

  • Ayphillydegreat 3 years ago

    The defensive structure and the way we dominate our games so far is a positive to me going forward. The goalkeeper, the central defensive pairing and the full backs are very talented, however, among other outfield players only Nazifi Yahaya shows promise the rest seems to be mediocres at best. The nature of the pitch doesn’t help our usual passing game yet we still had about 70% of possessions in those two games.

    As for the general conception about the team. I think this team will qualify for the WorldCup by reaching the semifinals based on the FlyingEagles pedigree, but I don’t see these set winning this particular tournament unless if that usual Nigerian mentality on the African continent resurfaced. Senegal is the team to beat this year and I think will also represent Africa well on the global stage. As for Nigeria we have the pedigree on the global stage at the U20s.

    However, we will need to inject more talents in the midfield and forward areas to make this team solid with the already really good defensive unit. Osimhen and Chukwueze will probably be on the plane to Egypt with the SuperEagles, but the likes of Nwakali, Kingsley Michael, Orji Okonkwo and a few other members of the Amunike set of 2017 should be the bulk of this team to the WorldCup. Most of them are still eligible except the ones that’ve made it all the the way to the SuperEagles.

    • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

      Well said AYPhilly. Your position makes a lot of sense.
      Left to me, going to the world cup proper, most of these old men masquerading as 17 and 18 yr olds should be dropped for some of the talented kids from Amuneke’s MRI certified U17 team like Osimhen, Chukwueze, Nwakali, Funso Bamgboye, Orji Okonkwo, Kingsley Micheal and Halilu zakari plus some of our foreign borns like Jayden bennetts, Onyedinma, Maja, Ebere Eze and co….that is if we really want to have a prosperous future for our SE. Apart from the Goalkeeper, the 2 central defenders, the left back and Nazifi yahaya the no 9, the rest of this team just don’t enough talents that catch the eye….even the much touted afeez aremu isn’t any different.

    • Birikiti 3 years ago


      You spoke my mind. The field has been atrocious, the worst of all the venues. The Flying Eagles have been rather “unfortunate” to have played their two matches on such a surface. Hopefully, they’ll get a better pitch vs Niger and go on to show their full potentials. As for the World cup campaign, this team needs serious beefing up especially in offensive positions. I like the look of the tall, agile goalkeeper and the two hard as nail central defenders though.

      • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

        Yea…”hard as nail”.. That’s what best describes those guys. I haven’t seen such scaring looking central defenders in the SE since Taribo West and Furo Iyenemi. Any striker facing them will be peeing in his pants from the tunnel. Lolz

    • Of the players mentioned, only Chukwueze and Orji Okonkwo qualifies for this tournament.

      The current AFCON Under 20 2019 is for Players born 1 January 1999 or later are eligible to participate in the competition.

      Osimhen was born 29th December 1998 so is three days too old. Nwakali is a few months to old as well.
      Those players will be better served in the under 23 squad with a match against Libya in March.

      But, and a big but, the AFCON age group tournaments are not fifa commissioned matches and the wualifying games are not played during fifa organised international breaks, so as professional players their clubs are within their rights to not release them for these matches and tournaments.

      Best we can do is to use local players to prosecute World Cup qualification and then inject the pros into the squad for the World Cup proper (their clubs will release them two weeks before the world cup