By Wale Mustapha
Head Coach of Nigeria’s U17 boys national team, Nduka Ugbade has warned the Super Eagles to be at their very best against Angola in the quarterfinal of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, (AFCON) on Friday.
The three-time AFCON champions will engage the Palancas Negras for a place in the semi final at the Felix Houphet Boigney Stadium in Abidjan.
Nduka feels Jose Peseiro’s men to be extra focus and be more determined in the winner takes all clash.
“We have to move the ball as fast as we can, we must to move the ball at the top of the can,” he suggested. “Then our mental speed must be very high on the advance. In the midfield, we’re been compact.”
“If we are defending, we defend in mass. We attack with few men. So that once we score them first, they are forced to come out.”
“We have to defend very strong and do not allow these guys to counter. Senegal is the father of them all. If Senegal can be beaten and scored against, automatically, we can beat Angola.”
“They will mark. They have a lot of pressure, they have tremendous defensive pressure. I saw it in 2 or 3 matches that they played. They are very resilient, they are always marking.”
“Once you lose the ball, they go on the offensive, no going back. Because that is what they want. They defend in their own box with more men.”
“Set pieces and corners must be forced upon them so that inside the 18 we are contesting for all the balls, we must contest for all the balls. We can score all the goals; if we score two and they score three against us, then we are out of the competition.
“So the issue here is that strategically, we must plan technically, we must execute what we have as our strategy then we get them done to make sure they are dumped out of the competition for us to move to the next stage.”