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Nigeria optimistic about qualifying for 2019 AFCON
Last Updated: 2017-06-12 00:00 | Xinhua
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Nigeria is optimistic about qualifying for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) despite losing 2-0 to South Africa last Saturday.

Minister of Youths and Sports Solomon Dalung said the loss at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in the southern city of Uyo was painful and called for more support for the team also known as Super Eagles.

"This is a temporary setback which is surmountable," Dalung said in a statement reaching Xinhua on Monday.

The Nigerian soccer team paraded very young and talented players, he noted, saying the result can be reversed when the Super Eagles visit South Africa to face the Bafana Bafana.

Ahead of the return leg against South Africa, Dalung told reporters that an emergency meeting of the technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had been slated for Tuesday.

"We need to sit with the technical committee and the team's technical crew to find out the immediate and remote causes of this setback," he said.

The loss has placed Nigeria third on the Group E table behind South Africa and Libya in the AFCON qualifiers.

The continental soccer competition will be held on Cameroonian soil in January 2019.

"The Super Eagles will definitely be in Cameroon because we can't afford to be absent at the AFCON for a third consecutive time.

"We will ensure that no stone is left unturned in our pursuit of a ticket to Cameroon," the official added.

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