Following their heavy 5-0 defeat to Algeria in the semi-final, Niger have redirected their focus on battling for a place on the podium at the TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN) 2022.
Visibly hurt and distraught on Tuesday, Niger have since recovered from this setback and are now focused on attaining a podium finish when they face Madagascar in the third-place playoff on Friday at the Miloud Hadefi Stadium in Oran, Algeria.
“We are in this position because we lost our semi-final match against Algeria. We would have loved to play the final but now, we have been presented with a new chance to fight for another medal and we shall do so against Madagascar,” explained Hassan Idé, the Niger assistant coach.
Idé told the media at the pre-match press conference that, “We are focused on this objective, and we have turned a new page. Our motivation is the same that we had when we were facing Congo, Cameroon, Ghana and Algeria. We want to win.
Of course, the defeat against Algeria was tough on us as a team. Losing 5-0 having not conceded before in the tournament is hard on the players but we are going to continue with the right attitude.”
Niger defender Mohamed Idrissa Karimou added that, “We are competitors. Things did not go in our favour against Algeria, and it was a heavy defeat but that is football. We have now moved on and are focused on the task ahead.”
Idé admitted that, “The competition is long. We have to recover physically. For the third place, we shall look deeper into the squad to make sure that get the best out of the team. We are going to give everything in this game. It is our last game at the tournament.”
Whatever the result of this game, this will be the highest position that the Menas of Niger will have achieved in four appearances.
In 2011, Niger reached the quarterfinals of the CHAN in Sudan but failed to make it out of the group stages five years later in Rwanda and at the last edition in Cameroon.
The current head coach Harouna Doula was also in charge in 2011 and 2020.
Source: Confederation of African Football