Nigeria U23 national team head coach Imama Amapakabois optimistic his team will defeat Zambia in the make-or-break second Group B encounter with the arrival of Okechukwu Azubuike and Taiwo Awoniyi.
Azubuike and Awoniyi were released late by their clubs due to involvement in the Turkish Super Lig and German Bundesliga, respectively.
However, the duo who played key roles in the team’s qualification for the quadrennial competition were sorely missed in the 1-0 loss to Cote d’Ivoire in the opening B game.
Amapakabo is confident their arrival will spur his squad to victory against Zambia as they aim to revive Nigeria’s hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the tournament and boost their chances of making it to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“I am happy we now have Awoniyi and our captain, Azubuike. They are integral to the team and were influential in our qualifying matches. We will throw everything into the game against Zambia because we have left ourselves no choice at this point.
“I believe we have the team to not only overcome Zambia but go all the way in the tournament. We stumbled against the Ivorians but we have learnt from that and we now look forward to rescuing our campaign against the Zambians and South Africans.”
The Olympic Eagles take on Zambia at the Al Salam Stadium on Tuesday (Today) from 7pm.