Nigeria’s Agbalaka, Njoku Listed Among CAF ‘Best XI’


Nigeria’s Flying Eagles duo Solomon Agbalaka and Augustine Njoku have been listed among the CAF Best XI of the 2023 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations in Egpyt. Africa’s football governing body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) released the list of the game’s best players that spotlighted four players of the winning team of Senegal.

The CAF list also featured Gambia and Congo with two players each and one from Uganda. The Flying Eagles defenders were the only Nigerians on the list that was dominated by Senegalese footballers.

19-year-old Solomon Agbalaka plays as the left-back defender for the Flying Eagles as an ever-present figure, scoring one goal as Nigeria finished third in the competition. He was named Man-of-Match winner in the 1-0 win against hosts, Egypt and Mozambique in the tournament’s group stages.

Augustine Chimezie Njoku on the other hand is an 18-year-old right-back defender and mainstay of the team. He played four games for the Nigerian side although missed out on the beginning lineups in the semifinals and 3rd place final. He was the key player in Nigeria’s 1-0 win against Uganda in the quarter-finals, earning Nigeria a place in the 2023 U-20 World Cup.

Some other Nigerian players envisaged to make the CAF XI but missed out include Benjamin Frederick, who plays as a center-back, and Ibrahim Muhammed – a forward.

Nigeria, formerly called the African Youth Championship and a seven-time winner of the tournament, is expected to join Tunisia, Gambia, and Senegal as African representatives at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia that scheduled to hold May 20 and June 11, 2023.

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