Tanzania eyeing U17 AFCON semifinal spot

Tanzania eyeing U17 AFCON semifinal spot
Ibrahim Abdalla Ali of Tanzania challenged by Felix Kamate of Mali during the 2017 Under 17 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Mali and Tanzania at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 15 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sunday May 21, 2017. 11:00

The Serengeti Boys from Tanzania are in high spirits as they prepare to face Niger in their 2017 U17 CAF Africa Cup of Nations final Group B match on Sunday.

Having made their debut at the junior continental showpiece, Tanzania will be motivated by their progress so far.

They have managed to draw against Mali and beat Angola on Thursday as they now have four points from two matches.

However, coach Bakary Shime has to motivate his men to bag a win and reach the semi-finals to also book a spot in the U17 FIFA World Cup in India.

“In this group, a team will need enough points to qualify. It is a long road. There are two games left. We were disappointed in the result of the first match,” said the coach.

“The mind does not score goals, but it is important for my players to remain focused. 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.”

On the other hand, the Menas Cadets are also under pressure to claim their first win to boost their pride in the group.

Niger are yet to win, having drawn 2-2 against Angola on Monday and lost to Mali on Thursday – this situation pushes them to fight harder and claim a win.

Mathematically, they still have a chance to reach the semi-finals, but they will have to beat Tanzania and hope Mali will lose to to the Palancas Negras on the same day.

Coach Ismaila Tiemoko will need to work on finishing as his charges seem to struggle upfront and defeat Tanzania.

The encounter will be staged at Stade De Port Gentil on Sunday, kicking off at 18:30 CAT.

Sign in with:  
Sign in to comment