U-20 AFCON: Flying Eagles To Wear Black Armbands Against Mali
The Flying Eagles/ Complete Sports

In honour of the former Secretary General of the Nigeria Football Federation, Taiwo Ogunjobi, who died on Monday in Ibadan, the Flying Eagles will wear black armbands against Mali in the semi-final of the 2019 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday.

Nigeria Football Federation Director of Competitions, Bola Oyeyode said the body got authorisation from Caf to use the black armbands when they face Mali.

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“We’ve received the go-ahead from CAF for the Flying Eagles to use black armbands. It is the least honour that we can accord such an accomplished man who was a football person through and through,”

Meanwhile, the coach of the side Paul Aigbogun said the Flying Eagles are working very hard to bring the trophy back to Nigeria.

He stressed that the team will approach the game with all seriousness at the Stade General Seyni Kountche in Niamey.

“We set the World Cup ticket as our first target for the championship. We have that now, so we are relaxed to go in there and give our best for the second target of winning the trophy while playing without tension or stiffness,” Aigbogun said.

The Flying Eagles are seven-times Africa champions and have secured the much-needed World Cup ticket.

However, Malians would be gunning for revenge after ending up on the losing side against the Nigerians at the WAFU U-20 Cup Tournament in Lome, Togo last December, despite leading for the most part of the tie. But the Flying Eagles snatched a late equaliser through defender Valentine Ozornwafor, before going ahead to win on penalties.

The Flying Eagles topped Group A with seven points after wins over Burundi and host Niger and a goalless stalemate against South Africa. Mali finished second in Group B with six points, beating Burkina Faso and Ghana, but were defeated by group leaders Senegal.

The second semi-final, also set for the Stade General Seyni Kountche, will see Group B winners Senegal tackle South Africa.

Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, who is with the Flying Eagles in Niamey, told thenff.com, “It’s going to be an interesting game because the Malians are difficult to play. They are strong and run a lot. But I see Nigeria throwing everything into the fray and doing everything to curtail the Malians by playing a strong game and showing the passion to reach the final.”