Home Sports African U-17 qualifier: Golden Eaglets to face Congo DR as Burundi withdraws

African U-17 qualifier: Golden Eaglets to face Congo DR as Burundi withdraws

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ABUJA – The national under-17 male football team, Golden Eaglets, will now face Congo DR in the 2015 African Championship qualifier, an official says.

A statement from the team’s Media Officer, Morakinyo Abodunrin, on Sunday in Abuja, said the pairing was due to Burundi’s withdrawal from the qualifier.

The Golden Eaglets are initially billed to face the winner of the first round tie between Congo DR and Burundi.

The first leg of the match was supposed to hold on June 28 in Burundi with the return leg holding in Congo DR a fort night later.

“Drawn bye into the second round of the qualifiers, the Nigerian Under-17 national team was originally scheduled to meet the overall winner of the first round fixture between Congo DR and Burundi.

“But according to the continental soccer governing body, Confederation of African Football (CAF), Burundi has withdrawn from the competition.

“With this development, the Golden Eaglets will now travel to Kinshasa on July 18 and July 20.

“And the return fixture will be on the weekend of Aug. 1 and Aug. 3,’’ the statement read.

It reported Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach Emmanuel Amuneke as saying that the players would be ready, irrespective of the opposition.

“We don’t have the luxury of picking the team we want to play as such, but we will be ready to play the Congolese.

“ Of course, Congo-Kinshasa will be different from Congo-Brazzaville that we met in Morocco, but we know that the  Congolese in whatever shape, are a strong side; but we will be ready.

“We remain focused about the challenges ahead and the series of upcoming friendly matches will be used to fine-tune the team’s rough edges,’’ Amuneke was quoted as saying.

The Golden Eaglets defeated Congo Brazzaville 7-0 at the African U-17 Championship in Morocco in 2013. (NAN)

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