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U-23 AFCON Qualifier: Imama Targets Away Win Vs Libya

U-23 AFCON Qualifier:  Imama Targets Away Win Vs Libya

U-23 Eagles head coach Imama Amapakabo says his team will go all out for a win in Wednesday’s Africa U-23 Cup of Nations qualifying tie against Libya, reports Completesports.com.

The defending champions will face the North Africans in the first leg fixture at the Bengerdan Stadium, Tunisia.

Libya are still unable to play international matches at home due to the after-effects of the ArabSpring political turmoil that began in 2011.

Imama has picked 12 home-based players and 11 professionals for the game.

Lobi Stars trio of Udochukwu Anumudu, Ebube Duru and John Lazarus top the list of domestic players which also include MFM’S defender, Joshua Akapde and Stephen Manyo of Enyimba.

Turkey-based Azubuike Okechukwu, Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze , Taiwo Awoniyi who plays for Royal Excel Mouscron of Belgium, Club Brugge winger Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis and Spezia forward David Okereke are some of the overseas-based players in the list.

“It is the first game for us in the qualifiers and we are determined to come out with a win,” Imama told reporters on the eve of the team’s departure for Tunisia on Monday.

“The most important thing is the first leg game on Wednesday, we want to win and make the second leg at home next week a mere formality.

“We are the defending champions and want to qualify for the main competition and also make it to the Olympics.”

The reverse fixture will come up at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba on Tuesday March 26.

Nigeria won the last edition of the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations held only for the second time in Senegal four years ago following a 2-1 win over Algeria at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar.

Africa’s flag-bearers in the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament of Tokyo 2020 will emerge during the 3rd U-23 Africa Cup of Nations to hold in Egypt in November this year.

By Adeboye Amosu

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  • PapaFem 5 years ago

    He has all the materials needed to secure a resounding victory. But no matter the quality of the materials available to a builder, what counts at the end the day is his skills to combine these great elements to put up an eye-catching edifice. I hope Imama puts the resources at his disposal to great use. He should make it count. Many national teams can hardly boast of half of the talent in the present Dream Team. All the best.

  • Asoko Emmanuel 5 years ago

    Absolutely spot on papa,he should prove to us all that he’s a great coach.Though a very short time to work with the lads,majority of them are professionals and are very fit as they play week in week out all he needs is just to put them through his philosophy period.

  • Spot on. How he uses the players will determine how good he is as a coach. With the last two to report being Okonkwo and Okereke (not sure if they have arrived yet), there is no chance that they will take part in the match tomorrow and should/could be held off until the return leg.

    Reports elsewhere say that Azubuike takes up captaincy again 9he was captain of the under 23s when they won AFCON U23 before the last Olympics and Mikel took the arm band. Also states that Nwakali is vice Captain. If that news is correct then we should expect to see them both in the starting lineup.

    Lets see what happens tomorrow. If anyone has a link to watch tomorrow please post it oh

  • KING Dave 5 years ago

    Nigeria is blessed with talent here and there

  • Ademola 5 years ago

    Please I need clarification from knowledgeable Nigerians how can Azubuike that captained under 23 four years ago still be in the current under 23 I hope we are not incurring fifa anger .

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