The Golden Eaglets will trade tackle with Burkina Faso today, in the semi-final fixture of the ongoing WAFU U17 Cup Tournament in Togo.
The coach Fatai Amoo led side were fortunate to secure a semi-final berth on Tuesday evening after the Baby Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire defeated the Black Starlets of Ghana 3 – 1.
As preparation for the encounter against the Burkinabes hits top gear, there appears to be tension hovering around the camp of the Eaglets ahead of today’s game.
According to the Guardian, an official of the team disclosed that the five-time world champions are wary of their opponents and it would take sheer determination and luck for the Golden Eaglets to beat Burkina Faso.
Hence, the Golden Eaglets’ official is of the opinion that the Burkinabes might pose a tough nuts to crack this afternoon in Togo, But added that the team will approach the game with the Nigerian spirit of never give up.
He said: “The Burkinabes are currently the most improved youth football playing nation in West Africa. Before now, it used to be Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali. But the Burkinabes seem to have taken over, both at the U-17 and U-20 level. Their players are very tall, fast and deadly in the attack. They have scored some fantastic goals in this competition. But we will face them.”
The Burkinabes do possess a recent impressive record in cadet championships going by their performance at the WAFU U-20 Tournament held in Benin Republic last December.
Burkina Faso and Ghana made it to the final of the competition. Whereas, the Flying Eagles of Nigeria failed in the group stage. The coach Ladan Bosso-led Flying Eagles lost to Ghana and drew with Cote d’Ivoire to crash out of the competition. But the Golden Eaglets’ official is optimistic the team would come out on top at the end of the day.
“Nigeria is parading one of the youngest teams in this tournament. Even CAF has confirmed it. My worry is that our players are nervous because this is the first time they are featuring in a big competition. But the technical crew is doing a fantastic job. We actually outplayed Ghana in our last game, even though it ended 1-1. If the boys can take their chances against Burkina Faso on Friday (today), I am sure we will carry the day. But we must not underrate them (Burkina Faso),” he said.
The winners of the semifinal encounter today, will either face Cote d’Ivoire or Niger Republic for the trophy on Wednesday at the Stade Kegue, and gain automatic qualification to the CAF U-17 Cup of Nations billed for March 13 -31 in Morocco.