Football

Amapakabo banks on Nwakali to help pockets Sudan in U-23 AFCON Qualifier

Nigeria’s U-23 Eagles head coach Imama Amapakabo is relying on talented midfielder Kelechi Nwakali to help his team go past Sudan in Tuesday’s U-23 Africa Cup of Nations, second leg, final qualifying round fixture at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, reports Completesports.com.

Nigeria trail 1-0 from the first leg and will need to score at least two goals without conceding to secure a berth at Egypt 2019 U-23 AFCON.

Nwakali who played a key role in the first round win against Libya, missed the first leg and only linked up with his teammates in Asaba camp on Sunday.

And Imama believes his presence will cause problems for the Sudanese in the game.

”Kelechi missed the first leg in Omdurman because he was sorting some contractual issues at his new club. We are happy he is with us here in Asaba, and I believe his presence on the pitch will be a big worry for the Sudanese,” Imama told reporters after the team’s training session on Monday.

It is the second time Nigeria will need to overcome an away deficit in the qualifiers after having to come back from 2-0 loss to Libya in the previous round.

The gaffer states that his players are firmly focused on the task at hand and are determined to scale through the hurdle.

“We have to keep our heads up. We trail by 1-0, but we have a team that can overturn that and qualify for the main competition, ” Amapakabo said.

“We lost concentration in the 42nd minute of the game and the Sudanese scored with their only second shot of the game. We had our chances which we failed to convert.”

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