Youth national team, Flying Eagles coach, Paul Osahon Aigbogun has acknowledged that his players must step up their efforts and beat the hosts, Niger Republic in their last group match at the ongoing African U-20 Cup of Nations.
With all four teams in Group A now holding equal opportunities and similar hope of picking tickets into the semi-final, which would confirm their qualification for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, Aigbogun stressed that it is win or bust for his side.
The UK-born tactician has quickly put aside the disappointment from Tuesday’s goalless draw with South Africa, as he says the focus has turned fully on beating the hosts come Friday.
Aigbogun admitted that his side’s goalless draw with South Africa was a huge disappointment, ashe had harped on the need for his team to pick two straights victories and be assured of a semi-final spot, which would qualify them for this year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Unfortunately for Aigbogun, Thabo Senong’s well drilled and highly charged Amajita held their own in the second match of Group A.
Senong’s players were organized in defense with their short passes in midfield frustrating the West Africans who came all out searching for a goal but failed to beat the South African rearguard.
Nigeria came close to breaking the deadlock ten minutes after the break when Alhassan curled in a cross towards Yahaya but the striker who scored against Burundi failed to connect.
Jamil Muhammad tried to his luck from distance but saw his effort went wide with time running out, and both sides ultimately settled for a barren draw.
Dramatically, after two matches each, Nigeria lead with four points and a draw would be good enough to qualify for the semi-final and Youth Mundial in Poland, but Aigbogun says they will go for victory on Friday.
Aigbogun said he will simply detail his wards to go all out for victory at Stade Général Seyni Kountché, Niamey, in order to eke out a ticket from the tight group.
He declared: ”The next game will be very dangerous for us to look for a draw. We will go into that game hoping to win it, as in our first match.”