Golden Eaglets Head Coach, Manu Garba, is expecting a tough match against hosts Niger when both sides meet in the semifinals of WAFU U-17 AFCON qualifiers on Wednesday.
Nigeria set up a meeting with the hosts after finishing as Group B winners while the Baby Mena were second behind Ghana in Group A.
Manu, who commended the team for their fight-back by beating Cote d’Ivoire 5-1 in their second match having fell 3-2 to Burkina Faso in their opening game, pointed his side needed to keep their feet on the ground and stay with full concentration all through if they must beat the hosts.
“It will not be easy to beat the host country, but it is something we just have to do. That I have told my players and I believe they will not disappoint the country,” Manu said.
Manu, who guided the team to World Cup glory in 2003, said the need for his players to be fully alert was of a premium more in this match than any other, adding as hosts the Baby Mena would be backed fully by the home crowd, and distractions might come against his players.
Although the hosts are yet to score any goal in the competition, having played two barren draws against Togo and Ghana to reach this stage, Manu says his wards cannot afford to relax, as the Nigeriens would be backed fully by their supporters in the stands.
The winner will face either Ghana or Burkina Faso who battle in the other semifinal on the same day.
The champions will join six other regional champions and the hosts Tanzania for the 2019 U-17 AFCON where Africa’s three representatives at the World Cup billed for Peru next year will emerge.
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