Flying Eagles will qualify for the 2019 U20 AFCON in Niger after they drew 1-1 with hosts Mauritania in the first leg of the final playoffs, according to assistant coach Abdu Maikaba.

Ibrahim Babawo gave the Nigeria U20s an early lead, before the home team equalised also in the first half.

“We promise Nigerians that the Flying Eagles will qualify for the African Youth Championship in Niger next year,” Maikaba said.

“I’m excited with the result even though we did not start the game very well we scored early against the run of play.

“It was a good result scoring a goal away from home. I believe that away goal will help us a lot.

“We played against a very good side and so we can’t relent, we have to work hard.

“We will make it moreso as we have seen our opponents, we have a better idea of how they play, so we can now handle them better.”

Maikaba gave a further insight to the first leg in Mauritania.

“We played better in the second half when we introduced Nazifi Yahaya and Adeshina Gata, they changed the course of the game, and we kept creating opportunities till the end of the match, but we did not take those chances,” he reported.

The second leg will be played in Lagos on Saturday.

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