24 April 2019

Africa: U17 Afcon - Nigeria, Guinea Faceoff in Semis

The first semifinal of the Total U17 Africa Cup of Nations Tanzania 2019 between Nigeria and Guinea will take place on Wednesday, with either side eyeing a place at the grand finale.

Guinea, the only surviving African team from the last FIFA U17 World Cup in India in 2017, acknowledge they will be facing their biggest test at the competition in a Nigerian side, unbeaten thus far.

Guinea trainer, Mohamed Camara, said they are unfazed by the prospect of coming up against the two-time winners, in their quest to go farthest in the competition.

"We will face Nigeria with confidence as our target is to play in the final and we are fully prepared for the tough semifinal duel with Nigeria.

"We are gunning for success and the appetite to push harder as well as the confidence among my players is growing each day. We are prepared to win this game, and we will do it in appreciation of the support that we are getting back home and other parts of the world," said Camara.

The Junior Sylis finished third in the last two editions (2015 & 2017), and looking forward to go a step further, a feat captain Bah Algassime believes it's achievable.

"As captain, my duty is to lead the team inside and outside the pitch. We have positive attitude that we will go against all odds to make it to the final," said Algassime.

The confidence from Guinea team is higher, but that doesn't bother the Nigerians, looking to emulate the successes of 2001 and 2007.

"Our desire and ambition is to go beyond this level. We have qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup and now we want to win this title. We won't make it unless we knockout Guinea and go to the final," said Nigeria assistant coach, Baruwa Olatunji.

Nigeria midfield, Balowa Abayomi, insists that their morale is good for the game and they are poised to edge Guinea in all aspect to win.

"We believe that we are a strong team and we have to prove that against Guinea, we hope things will go well for us and we win the title," he said.

The winner will face either Cameroon or Angola in Sunday's final.


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