Nigeria’s Flying Eagles will hope to avenge the 0 -1 loss they suffered at the hands of Amajita in tonight’s all-important match when both teams clash again in a 2013 AYC qualifier.
In May, hosts South Africa stopped their Nigerian counterparts by the odd goal on their way to finishing third at the Cape Town International Challenge, which was won by world champions Brazil.
While Amajita have remained largely unchanged from that invitational tournament, only about 11 players from the 25-man Flying Eagles squad are still very much involved with the country’s U-20 team.
Skipper and goalkeeper Samuel Okani, Ikechukwu Okorie, Chizoba Amaefule, Shehu Abdullahi, Moses Orkuma and Alhaji Gero are still starters from that tournament. Central defender Amaefule and Orkuma did not kick a ball at the invitational tourney though.
The African champions have now recalled forwards Bright Ejike, Chidi Osuchukwu as well as the exciting playmaker Abduljaleel Ajagun, all players who featured at the 2011 AYC which was hosted by South Africa and won by Nigeria.
The South Africa youth team, on the other hand, will continue to insist on the mercurial Supersport forward Snethemba Ngidi, striker Thabani Mthembu and skipper Mbongeni Gumede.
The Flying Eagles prepared for this clash by playing out a 1-1 draw with next-door neighbours Benin Republic, who will host Senegal in their own AYC qualifier on Sunday.
“We hope to improve on our game in Benin and win in South Africa,” declared coach Obuh.
Nigeria dumped the Ngorogoro Heroes of Tanzania 4 – 1 on aggregate after a 2 – 1 away.
South Africa scrapped through on the away goals rule after they beat a hardfighting Congo team 1 – 0 at home after they lost their first leg 1 – 2 in Brazzaville.
The Amajita are committed to creating a big upset by eliminating six-time African champions Nigeria and so have moved this encounter from Port Elizabeth to “lucky ground” of the magnificent Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, where they routed Botswana 4 – 0 last week.
The hilly Northeastern city is football mad and after successfully hosting the historic 2010 World Cup, they will again welcome some of Africa’s best teams to the 2013 Nations Cup from January.
A crowd of 9,500 were on hand at the Mbombela to watch Bafana Bafana beat Mozambique 2 – 0 in last week’s friendly, which was ushered by the Amajita vs Botswana rematch.
However, despite their love for the beautiful game, Nelspruit does not have a top-flight team after Mpumalanga Black Aces of Witbank spent a season in the Premier Soccer League before they were relegated.