U17 AFCON: Players to watch out for in South Africa vs Nigeria game

U17 AFCON: Golden Eaglets defeat Zambia in opening game

The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria will face their South African counterpart for their final group game at the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations in Algeria on Saturday, May 6.

Nduka Ugbade’s boys are currently second in the Group B with three points – same as the Amajimbos – but they have a better goal difference. Nigeria registered a 1-0 win over Zambia in their opening match, while South Africa lost 2-0 to group leaders Morocco.

In the second game, the Golden Eaglets lost to the Atlas Cubs but Duncan Crowie’s boys defeated the Junior Chipolopolos 3-2 to register their first win of the tournament.

The upcoming fixture between Nigeria and South Africa is expected to be a nail-biting encounter, as both teams are in search of a win that will guarantee them an automatic spot in the quarter-finals.

Ahead of Saturday’s night game, Afrosport previews the players who have shone in the last two matchdays for both teams thus far.



The forward made the difference in Nigeria’s opening match against Zambia, as his 76th-minute strike after a goalmouth melee secured the Golden Eaglets’ only win so far in Algeria.

Daniel has been a constant threat for Nigeria down the left wing, with his tricks and directness causing numerous problems for the opposition’s defence in games against Zambia and Morocco.



The Golden Eaglets captain played an integral part in the triumphant WAFU Zone B qualifying rounds, with two goals last year.

Although he is yet to find the back of the net in Algeria, Williams was involved in everything the Eaglets did well in their first two games.

His hold plays, ability to bring his teammates into the game, and pace up front might be crucial in the must-win fixture against South Africa.


Lawali has proven to be reliable and efficient in Ugbade’s selection and he has played every minute of Nigeria’s games in Algeria so far.

Naturally a fullback but sometimes deployed as a midfielder, Lawali’s pace, strength, and ability to move the ball in tight spaces have caught attention.

The teenager has won two consecutive Man of the Match awards, despite Nigeria losing to Morocco in the second game. Lawali’s creativity will be very key for Ngeria’s crucial game against South Africa.



Vicky Mkhawana was the star of the show in South Africa’s last game, scoring two of their three goals in the 3-2 win over Zambia and was subsequently crowned the Man of the Match.

The Kaizer Chiefs youngster opened the scoring with an absolute belter and arguably the tournament’s best goal so far, letting fly a ferocious strike from way out to beat the Zambian goalkeeper.

Mkhawana could prove to be a handful for the Eaglets’ defense if given space, as his strength, agility, and prowess in front of goal could hurt the Nigerians badly.



Siyabonga Mabena has yet to spark magic in the ongoing tournament but the 16-year-old forward could prove to be a handful when in the mood.

Mabena got the assist for South Africa’s second goal against Zambia but the Mamelodi Sundowns forward is a lethal goalscorer on his day as his nine goals were the most scored by a player in the qualifying rounds.

Michael Dokunmu (South Africa):

Many Nigerians may look at the name and feel it sounds familiar; that’s because it does. The 17-year-old, who plays for Dutch side Vitesse, is of both Nigerian and South African descent.

Dokunmu has been a calming presence in the middle of the park for the Amajimbos and was on the scoresheet in their last game against the Junior Chipolopolo, as his second-half strike turned out to be the match winner.

The youngster will be hoping to get one up against his father’s country when he faces the Golden Eaglets.



You can catch the crucial match between Nigeria and South Africa live on Afrosport TV via VIDIVU TV –  OR stream online through Afrosport TV’s Facebook and TikTok accounts.

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