Nigeria and South Africa are set to renew their soccer rivalry at a third level next year, as the youth teams of both countries have been pooled into the same group for the 2019 African U-20 Cup of Nations.
So soon after the female squads of both countries battled in the African Women Cup of Nations and their senior men clashed in the AFCON 2019 qualifiers, footballlive.ng reports that Nigeria and South Africa will again do battle at the men’s youth level early next year.
This is sequel to the outcome of the draw for the 2019 U-20 AFCON, which pooled the Flying Eagles and South Africa along with Burundi and the host nation, Niger Republic.
The draw brings up many coincidences, as Nigeria played a goalless draw against Niger at the ongoing WAFU U20 Cup in Lome, Togo, while South Africa also won the COSAFA U20 Championship earlier this week, after edging out Zimbabwe 4-3 on penalties in the final.
Burundi are making a return, following their last appearance in 1995 where they lost to Cameroon in the final of the competition, in which Nigeria remains the most successful country – with seven titles.
Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Mali will compete in Group B of the championship, which is scheduled to run from February 2 to 16 in two Niger Republic cities of Niamey and Maradi.
The top four teams, all semi-finalists, will secure qualification tickets for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.