The Golden Eaglets Of Nigeria will commence their quest to win the 2023 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations title on Sunday in the Algerian city of Constantine when they take on Zambia.
Ahead of their flight to Constantine on Tuesday night, all 26 players in the Golden Eaglets squad passed the MRI test in Algiers after arriving from a training camp in Egypt.
The five-time world champions are two-time continental champions. Even though the Under-17 Nigerian team is the most successful U-17 team in the world in terms of the FIFA World Cup, the team usually struggles in the continental tournament.
When the Confederation of African Football hosted the U-17 competition for the first time in Mali in 1995, the Black Starlets of Ghana overcame the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria in the final. The Eaglets were unable to qualify for the 1997 edition of the tournament and were unable to get past the group stage in 1999.
Nigeria defeated Burkina Faso 3-0 to win the fourth CAF U-17 Tournament in Seychelles in 2001. The Golden Eaglets won once more in Togo in 2015 before winning the FIFA World Cup trophy in the Republic of Korea.
The Golden Eaglets’ previous encounter with Zambia at this level took place in 2015 in the Niger Republic. Nigeria won 3-1 in Niamey thanks to two goals from Victor Osimhen, who went on to set the U-17 World Cup scoring record with 10 goals as Nigeria won its fifth world championship in Chile.
In the 2023 edition of the Under-17 AFCON which is the 14th edition, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria will play Zambia on Sunday, April 30, at 17:00 (5 PM WAT).
After that, the Nigerian team will take on Morocco on May 3 and South Africa on May 6 in the other Group B games in the tournament.
The top four teams in this year’s Under-17 AFCON will represent Africa at the world edition of the tournament.
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