Daily Trust (Abuja)

10 December 2012

Nigeria: Eaglets Handed Tough AYC Group

Reigning African U-20 kings Nigeria was handed a favourable draw for the 2013 Africa Youth Championship (AYC) yesterday, just as their Golden Eaglets battle rivals Ghana in a tough group B of the Africa U-17 Youth Championship in Morocco.

Group A of the Africa U-17 tournament has host Morocco, Gabon, Tunisia and Botswana, while Congo and Cote d'Ivoire are the other two countries drawn in Group B alongside Ghana and Nigeria.

Nigeria head coach, Manu Garba, believes the draw result pegs his Golden Eaglets against Africa's best.

"We cannot complain at this stage. Once you qualify for a major tournament it is expected that you should be prepared to come up against the best teams," he said.

"Ghana like us has a rich tradition at Under17 level. So we have huge respect for them, same with our other group opponents. We will be very prepared before the competition starts next year."

Morocco will play hosts to the cadet championship between April 13 and 27 next year.

In yesterday's U-20 draw in Cairo, Egypt, the Flying Eagles as defending champions were drawn in Group B along with Mali, debutants Gabon and DR Congo. Group A has the tougher-looking section of hosts Algeria, Ghana, Egypt and Benin Republic.

The U-20 tournament will be played between March 16 and 30 next year with the semi-finalists qualifying to represent Africa at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey from June.

Like the AYC, the semi-finalists of this competition will also fly Africa's flag at the FIFA U17 World Cup in UAE.

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