Defending champions Nigeria await Kenya if Sudan fall on Tuesday

If the national U23 side, the Emerging Stars, complete a comeback mission against their counterparts from Sudan in the second-leg of the two team’s AFCON U23 qualifier to be played on Tuesday 26 March in Nairobi, then a third and final qualifier against defending champions Nigeria, to book a place at this year’s continental showpiece, awaits them.

The West African nation qualified for the final round of the qualifiers after completing a comeback mission of their own against Libya. Nigeria won 4-0 in Abuja on Monday to wipe off a 2-0 first leg loss.

Overturn

The Junior Stars will seek motivation from Nigeria’s comeback when they play host to Sudan at the MISC Kasarani from 4PM looking to overturn the first leg 2-0 deficit.

If Francis Kimanzi’s men book the Nigeria clash then they will host the first leg to be played on June 5th with the return leg coming four days later on the 9th.

Zambia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Guinea and DR Congo are the nations that have so far progressed to the next round that will see 14 teams compete.

Jackson Muleka of the DR Congo is so far the qualifiers top scorer with four goals. Pistone Mutamba and James Mazembe are Kenya’s leading scorers with two goals apiece.

This year’s continental showpiece to be hosted by Egypt is the third edition and will also serve as qualifiers for next year’s Olympic Games to be hosted by Japan.

The top three nations at the end of the finals will qualify for the Olympics.