Thursday Sep 05, 2019. 10:00
Nigeria’s trip to Omdurman to face Sudan this evening is the headline fixture as the final round of 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations continues, following Zambia’s opening 2-1 win over Congo on Wednesday evening.
Fourteen teams will battle in two-legged ties over the next five days to join hosts Egypt for the finals in November, which will not only decide the age-group kings of the continent but also reveal the three African qualifiers for the men’s football tournament at the 2020 Olympic Games.
Nigeria’s ‘Dream Team’ is believed to be one of the to candidates for a place at the Tokyo Games and Super Eagles regular Ahmed Musa has called on the team to give their all over the two matches against Sudan, starting with the clash at the Al Merrikh Stadiium tonight.
“I am here to encourage and pledge my support to you due to the importance of the game ahead of you,” Musa said.
“I have played for the U-23 before making my debut for the Super Eagles in 2010, and with dedication, hard work and grace of God, today I’m the Super Eagles captain.
“Nigeria is blessed with a lot of talented footballers. I am the captain of the Super Eagles not because I am better than most of the players but due to dedication and hard work.
“I urge you to go all out and beat Sudan because the game serves as Olympic qualifiers.”
Friday sees two West v North clashes in the afternoon, as Ghana and Cameroon host Algeria (in Accra) and Tunisia (in Yaounde) respectively, while regional rivals South Africa and Zimbabwe renew hostilities with an evening match at Orlando Stadium.
Saturday sees the first leg matches wrapped up with Ivory Coast hosting fellow West Africans Guinea in Abidjan, before Morocco welcome Mali to Marrakech.
The return leg match for the Zambia v Congo tie will be played on Sunday 8 September, with the remaining ties completed on Tuesday 10 September.
U-23 Africa Cup of Nations fixtures
Third round, first-leg matches, 5-7 September 2019
Thursday 5 September
Sudan v Nigeria – 19h00
Friday 6 September
Ghana v Algeria – 15h30
Cameroon v Tunisia – 15h30
South Africa v Zimbabwe – 19h00
Saturday 7 September
Ivory Coast v Guinea – 17h00
Morocco v Mali – 20h00