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Eaglets to face Congo

16 June 2014, 14:20Israel Ojoko

Lagos - The Golden Eaglets would face Democratic Republic of the Congo and not Burundi in next month's 2015 African U-17 Championship fixture.

Drawn bye into the second round of the qualifiers, the Nigerian Under-17 national team was originally scheduled to meet the overall winner of the first round fixture between Congo DR and Burundi but the latter according to the continental soccer governing body, CAF, has withdrawn from the competition.

The 2015 CAN Under-17 slated for Niger has already been bedeviled with spate of withdrawals including that of Kenya; Central African Republic; Liberia, Mauritania and  Guinea-Bissau. Gambia was disqualified following their suspension from all CAF competitions.

Nigeria in the meantime, would travel to Kinshasa on the weekend of July 18-20 while the return fixture a fortnight later would be held on the weekend of August 1-2.

Speaking on the development, Golden Eaglets' Head coach, Emmanuel Amuneke (MON), said his boys would be ready irrespective of the opposition:"We don't have the luxury of picking the team we want to play as such; we would be ready to play the Congolese."

It would be recalled that the Golden Eaglets in 2013 defeated the Congo Brazzaville 7-0 at the CAN Under-17 in Morocco but Amuneke reckoned that the fixture against Congo-Kinshasa offers a different challenge.

"Of course, Congo-Kinshasa would be different from Congo-Brazzaville that we met in Morocco but we know that the  Congolese in whatever shape are a strong side but we would be ready," Amuneke added.

Meanwhile, the Golden Eaglets according to Amuneke remain focused about the challenges ahead, revealing that series of upcoming friendly matches would be used to fine-tune the team's rough edges.

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- News24


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