Condemned to win: Free-kick specialist Michal says Golden Eaglets are ready for West African derbyPublished: May 10, 2023
Highly-rated Golden Eaglets defender Emmanuel Michael was on media duties on Wednesday, on the eve of Nigeria's quarterfinal clash against West African opponent, Burkina Faso at the 2023 Africa U20 Cup of Nations.
Michael is one of the key players at the disposal of coach Nduka Ugbade for tomorrow evening's encounter at the Nelson Mandela Stadium, Algiers, and is expected to continue his role as a marauding left-back.
The Simon Ben FA starlet made a name for himself as a free-kick expert at the WAFU-UFOA Zone B qualifiers for the Africa U17 Cup of Nations, where he scored three goals from free-kicks.
Although Michael has yet to open his goalscoring account in Algeria, he has shown glimpses of his potential.
With two wins from a possible three in the group stage, Nigeria caught the eye with their fluid playing style but the quarterfinal will be more difficult with a ticket to the World Cup at stake.
Michael knows that the Golden Eaglets are condemned to win the game against the Young Etalons because only a victory will see them achieve their objective of qualifying for the World Cup.
"We have prepared well for this match and we are ready for the tie. We want to give our best as a good result will qualify us for the World Cup and this is our ambition," Michael told reporters.
The Golden Eaglets have qualified for twelve previous editions of the FIFA U17 World Cup, winning it on five occasions.
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