Flying Eagles’ legendary capabilities will be tested on Thursday as they face their high-flying Ugandan counterparts in the last 8 quarter-finals of the CAF U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

There is so much at stake in this meeting, the first engagement between these two teams at this level.

The winner of the match will not only progress to the semifinals of the contest, but they will also guarantee their spot at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia later in July, reports.

With that much to fight for, a thrilling contention is expected between the Flying Eagles and the Hippos at the Suez Canal Stadium in Ismailia on Thursday. Kickoff time is 6 pm Nigerian time.

The Uganda side will go into this quarter-final tournament on assurance after finishing top of Group A, thanks to two draws against Congo and Sudan, a win over the Central African Republic, and the lack of drawn lots.

It is fascinating to remark that Uganda only made their debut appearance at the U-20 AFCON in the last edition, but they amazed all, including themselves, as they surmounted all barriers to reach the final. And even then, it took a resilient Ghana side to condemn them to a runners-up finish.

Their current U-20 squad looks even more talented than that 2021 team, and they have lost only one competitive game since 2022.

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And adding Nigeria to their list of conquered opponents will add no small credence to their burgeoning reputation.

But the Flying Eagles are not your normal mediocre opponents. Nigeria’s U-20 is the most triumphant team in the history of the U-20 AFCON, with seven titles.

In their 17 appearances at the continental championship, only on two occasions did the Flying Eagles fail to make it to the semifinal of the competition.

Nigeria missed the 2021 edition but were champions as recently as 2015 when Musa Muhammed’s tournament-high four goals and Taiwo Awoniyi’s three goals lifted them to a podium finish.

Ladan Bosso’s boys may not be as gifted as that victorious team led by veteran coach Manu Garba. Still, they have shown resilience and battle-readiness in bouncing back from an early defeat to Senegal to make it past the group stage with wins over hosts Egypt and Mozambique.

And according to CAF, they also showed good sportsmanship to be worthy winners of the Group Stage Fair Play award.

The clash in Ismailia will be the first faceoff between Uganda and Nigeria at the U-20 level.