The junior Teranga Lions of Senegal are keen to avoid another somewhat heavy defeat against the Flying Eagles of Nigeria in today’s final of the AYC U20.
The hosts suffered a 3-1 opening day loss to Nigeria’s Flying Eagles in the African Youth Championship in Dakar.
“It will be revenge and I can assure you it will be a great celebration for us,” said Senegal U20 skipper Roger Gomis to the media during a press conference on Saturday ahead of the game.
“We have achieved our first objective (qualifying for the World Cup), and now we want to get our target which is to win the cup and make the people of Senegal happy, who have supported us all through this campaign.
“After our defeat against Nigeria, we have corrected some of the mistakes and we now have the chance to face this same side again in the final.”
Senegal coach Joseph Koto maintained he still does not believe Nigeria are better than his team despite losing to the Flying Eagles two weeks ago.
“There was something amiss when we lost to them because I still do not believe they are better than us,” he said.
“This final will decide the better team because my players will play under less pressure.”
However assistant coach of Nigeria’s Flying Eagles, Nduka Ugbade, was sure the team will be ready for the opponents seeking a backlash.
“We are ready for the task. We are not under pressure. Surely it will not be easy now because the Senegalese will want some measure of revenge but that is also another motivation we need to go out there and play a good team,” the skipper of the Golden Eaglets squad that won the 1985 U16 FIFA Kodak World Cup in China stated.
Both sides have all their squads free of any disciplinary problems and the final will be officiated by FIFA referee Joshua Bondo from Botswana.
Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Ghana are the four African representatives at the U20 World Cup in New Zealand. The final will be preceded by the third-place final between Ghana and Mali.
The final is expected to kick off 6pm Nigerian time.