February, 22 2023.
Abia Warriors of Umuahia defender, Augustine Chimezie Njoku says the nation's Under-20 men's football team, the Flying Eagles, owes it to millions of Nigerians and themselves to beat the Under-20 Pharaohs of Egypt, and redeem most of their battered pride.
The current set of Flying Eagles who have been unbeaten, were on Sunday in Cairo, humbled 1-0 by Senegal's Curb Lions of Teranga, in their opening Group A clash of the CAF Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations.
Speaking ahead of their second group fixture, against host nation Egypt on Wednesday, Njoku insists lessons have been learnt from the opening loss, corrections made, and the team is well motivated to face the hosts, and their focivorous home crowd.
"Against Senegal, we were the better the, but they were able to take advantage of the few opportunities they had, to resolve the match in their favour". Njoku said.
The wing-back who has been an ever-present in Coach Ladan Bosso's side from the very beginning and all through the qualifiers in Niamey, to date is however envisaging a very tough match, where the Flying Eagles must fight very hard for victory over Egypt's Under-20 Pharaohs.
"The match won't be easy, but we have prepared well for it. We have glossed over our loss to Senegal and are physically, psychologically and tactically ready to face Egypt", he added.
Like Head Coach Ladan Bosso, Njoku who committed just one foul, while completing all 19 passes he made in the entire 90 minutes duration he played on Sunday; believes booking a ticket to the next round, and qualifying for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia, is still within their grasp.