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Nigeria is the first African nation to win the gold medal at the football events of the Olympics. The year was 1996. Photo: Twitter/NFF

Nigeria will take on Ivory by 4:00 pm on Saturday in their first fixture at the 2019 U- 23 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

Concise News understands that the Group B encounter will be played at the Al Salam Stadium as Nigeria start their campaign for the 2020 Olympic ticket.

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Nigeria Vs Ivory Coast Team News

The Nigerian side will be without captain Azubuike Okechukwu and Taiwo Awoniyi for the defence of the tournament they claimed in 2015.

They could not make it after their clubs failed to release them but coach Imama Amapakabo is hopeful that they will be available for the second fixture against Zambia on Tuesday.

“We have players in camp who are ready to give their all and do Nigeria proud any day, any time. We are quietly confident and will take it one match at a time,” he said.

“We are quite aware that as defending champions, so much is expected of us. This team will throw everything into the battle and ensure it does not disappoint Nigerians.”

Also speaking ahead of the match, Kelechi Nwakali admitted that it is important for the team to begin on a winning note.

“We know the importance of a positive start and we are just focused on getting our first three points against them (Ivory Coast ) because that will put us in a very good position to reach the semifinals,” he said.

“It won’t be an easy one but we are very much prepared for the challenge ahead. ”

Nigeria on Tuesday played a draw with Cameroon as part of their preparations for the competition.

What Time Is Nigeria Vs Ivory Match U-23 AFCON? 

The match will be live by 4:00 pm (Nigeria time) on Saturday, November 9th, 2019.