Abuja, Nigeria – (African Boulevard News) – Nigeria’s head coach Nduka Ugbade has praised his team for their impressive display against Morocco despite the one-nil defeat at the TotalEnergies U17 AFCON.
The Nigerian team was on the receiving end of a well-struck free-kick from the North Africans in the 34th minute of the encounter. Although the Nigerian boys fought hard to get back into the game, they were unable to convert any of their chances, leaving them empty-handed at the end of the game.
In a post-match press conference, coach Ugbade affirmed that his players had given their best on the field and that he was proud of their effort. He also expressed his optimism about Nigeria’s chances in the competition, stating that the team had the quality to overcome their setbacks and progress to the next stage.
“We played well; we fought hard, but unfortunately, we lost to a quality side. I am proud of my players for their effort, and we will continue to work hard to achieve our objectives. The competition is still young, and we have a chance to rectify our mistakes and bounce back in the remaining games,” Ugbade said.
The one-nil defeat to Morocco now puts Nigeria’s qualification hopes in jeopardy, as they need to secure maximum points in their remaining fixtures against Uganda and Tanzania to stand a chance of progressing to the knockout stage.
Despite the setback, the Nigerian team showed glimpses of their potential, with players such as Mohammed Ibrahim, Ousman Ibrahim, and Ahmed Abdullahi dazzling fans with their skill and pace.
The TotalEnergies U17 AFCON has been a platform for young African talents to showcase their skills, as well as earn exposure to top scouts and coaches across the continent. The competition has also served as a breeding ground for future stars of African football, with legends such as Samuel Eto’o, Nwankwo Kanu, and Seydou Keita having participated in the tournament in their early careers.
In conclusion, Nigeria may have suffered defeat in their opening fixture of the TotalEnergies U17 AFCON, but the team remains optimistic about their chances and will continue to fight until the end. The competition has just begun, and there is still everything to play for.