U23 AFCON: Olympic Eagles Storm Egypt

U23 AFCON: Olympic Eagles Storm Egypt

NIGERIA U23 male team arrived the Egyptian capital city of Cairo on Thursday evening, ahead of the U23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.

A team of 13 players and nine officials touched down at the Cairo international airport at 9pm local time (8pm ) Nigerian time aboard an Egypt airline.

The Nigerian delegation were immediately taken to the city of Ismaila, about128kilometres away from the capital city, Cairo, and were lodged at Mercure Hotel, same place where the Super Eagles camped prior to AFCON in June.

Coach Imama Amapakabo and his legions are expected to commence preparations immediately ahead of the tournament.

Meanwhile, England-based striker, Bright Enobakhare, and defender Anthony Izuchukwu of Nest Sotra of Norway have bothteamedupwith therestof squad in Egypt.

Enobakahre, who plays for English Premier League side, Wolverhampton Wanderers, has added to the attacking options of coach Amapakabo.

On his part, Izuchukwu was solid in the defence line during the qualifiers against Sudan, as he formed a formidable partner- ship with Olisah Ndah, while the Olympic Eagles walloped Sudan 5-0 in Asaba, to book the AFCON U23 berth. Both play- ers are 21 years of age.

Ahead of the tournament in Egypt, Media Officer of the team, Sharif Abadallah, said Nigeria’sprimarytargetwillbe a ticket to next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

According to Abdullah, the Olympic Eagles, who made the bulk of the side that failed to qualify for the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN), are keen to put that disappointment behind them and compensate with a fruitful outing at AFCON.

He said: “For every disappointment you try to get the best outfit;wefailedtoqualify for CHAN 2020 in Cameroon, which is a big disappointment, but we should not forget the na- tional U23 team is here to stay.

“We are the only national team embarking to make Nigeria proud next year because the Super Falcons failed to qualify for the Olympics, so I urge Nigerians to rally their support behind this team as the ultimate target is to qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo 2020, and then go on and win the AFCON U23, remember we are the defending champions.”

Nigeria is drawn in group B alongside Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia andSouthAfrica.Thetopthree teams in the eight-nation tournament will represent Africa in the men’s football event at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

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