Ibrahim Namata of Niger challenged by Adalmiro Patricio Pacheco Da Silva of Angola during the 2017 Under 17 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Angola and Niger at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 15 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Thursday May 18, 2017. 14:30
Ahead of their second Group B match in the 2017 U-17 CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, Niger coach Ismaila Tiemoko reckons they have to take the tie seriously.
Niger are fresh from a 2-2 draw against Angola on Monday as they resumed their junior continental campaign.
The Menas Cadets were disappointed to draw against the young Palancas Negras and will now hope to claim their first win on Thursday.
On the log table, Niger are placed at the second spot with one point and two goals from their opening draw, but a win could push them to the top spot.
MOSIMANE CONGRATULATES LEAGUE CHAMPIONS WITS
“We have to take every team in this tournament seriously. If a team is here, it is not by chance," said coach Tiemoko.
“In our first match (against Angola), we were leading 2-0, before our opponents levelled in the second half. Mali also drew 0-0 with Tanzania.
“Therefore, each team has one point. The dice has been thrown up in the air and the cards have been re-distributed.
“Our aim is to take three points from the next game (against Mali). In this group, a team will need enough points to qualify.
“We were disappointed in the result of the first match. Even if we had won, we would still have to win against Mali to boost our chances.
“Fighting spirit is one of the qualities of our team. Our goal is to qualify for the World Cup and then to win this tournament.”
The encounter will be staged at 19:30 on Thursday at the iconic Stade de l'Amitié Sino-Gabonaise in Libreville.