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WAFU Cup: Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets favorites to soar in tournament ahead of Ghana, others

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WAFU Cup: Nigeria's Golden Eaglets favorites to soar in tournament ahead of Ghana, others

The West African Football Union (WAFU) B U17 tournament will kick-off today, Wednesday, in Ghana, showcasing the region’s budding football talent.

Among the contenders, Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets stand out as a formidable force in Group B, poised to make their mark in the competition.

Nigeria find themselves in Group B, alongside Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo, while Group A comprises the host, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Benin Republic.

This grouping presents a challenging yet promising path for Nigeria as they aim to secure a spot in next year’s TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations.

Nigeria’s campaign in Group B begins with a crucial encounter against Burkina Faso on Thursday at the University Stadium.

Subsequent matches follow as they face Niger on Sunday, May 19, and Togo on Wednesday, May 22.

The Golden Eaglets won the last edition of the regional championship in 2022 after beating Burkina Faso 2-1 in the final.

However, this year’s competition will run from 15-28 May, and only the top two teams will qualify for the next edition of the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations that will take place in 2025.

DAILY POST reports that the Golden Eaglets boast a rich history in youth football, often dominating continental and global competitions.

With a blend of talent, tactical acumen, and seasoned coaching, Nigeria enters the WAFU B U17 tournament as one of the favorites to progress from Group B.

Manu Garba’s side are expected to showcase skill, athleticism, and creativity on the pitch when they take on Burkina Faso in their first game of the tournament.

The team’s ability to analyze opponents, exploit weaknesses, and capitalize on scoring opportunities will be pivotal.

Despite the competitive nature of Group B, Nigeria stands a strong chance of finishing among the top two teams and securing qualification for the TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations.

The team’s pedigree, coupled with meticulous preparation and a hunger for success, positions them as contenders for advancement.

As the WAFU B U17 tournament unfolds, all eyes will be on Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets as they strive to navigate Group B and stake their claim in continental youth football.

With talent, determination, and strategic prowess on their side, Nigeria’s journey in the competition promises excitement and anticipation for fans and observers alike.

Speaking with DAILY POST about this year’s WAFU B U17 tournament, Saheed Afolabi, who works at Clear TV,
said: “The WAFU U-17 is also an avenue for Nigeria to regain their standard and pride as the champions of West Africa.

“So, a lot of pressure is also on the coach Manu Garba. I think he has won the U-17 World Cup in the past, so it would actually be a failure if he cannot qualify the team for the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations.

“Actually, I tip him to qualify because he has a formidable team and the lads are young and I see a lot of prospects in them to actually qualify for the U-17 championship.”

Commenting on Nigeria’s opening game against Burkina Faso on Thursday, Afolabi added: “Burkina Faso have always been a tricky opponent, whether at the U-17, U-20 or the senior national team.

“I believe the Golden Eaglets would have a lot on their hands to deal with against Burkina Faso but I also believe this is a game they need to scale through with ease.

“I don’t expect it [the match] to be difficult for them despite it being their first game in the tournament.”

When asked to rate Nigeria’s chances of topping Group B and winning the tournament, Afolabi said: “Well, in their other two games against Niger and Togo, I expect the Golden Eaglets to top the Group B because they have the quality and also they have gone through intense training session and also the MRI scan have actually been very, very good in cropping out the over-age players.”

“So I think these players are truly the U-17 ones and the prospects and potentials speak a lot, so I expect them to top the Group and eventually win the WAFU U-17 championship,” he further stated.




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