The Serengeti Boys of Tanzania are set for their most important match at the Total U-17 Africa Cup of Nations Gabon 2018 against Junior Menas of Niger at Stade de Port Gentil on Sunday.
The East Africans who jointly lead Group B with Mali on four points after two matches must avoid defeat against the West Africans to earn a semi-final ticket as well as qualification for the FIFA U-17 World Cup to be held in India later this year.
“We need at least a point in this match against Niger on Sunday and we must be very disciplined both in defence and attack in order to contain them because they are a very god side, Bakari Shime, Tanzania U-17 trainer told CAFOnline.com
It is the first time for Tanzania at the U-17 AFCON and we have prepared well; it is our plan to be at the World Cup in India and we shall be there, assured the 47-year-old Shime.
Niger are yet to make it to the FIFA U-17 World Cup despite two previous appearances at the continental cadet championship in 2009 in Algeria and as hosts in 2015 but current trainer, Soumaila Tiemogo said the Junior Menas can be third time lucky here in Gabon, insisting his wards would win tomorrow’s match.
This match against Tanzania on Sunday is one of the final matches of Group B and it is crucial for us to win in order to fulfil our aim to qualify for the semi-finals as well as the World Cup in India, emphasized Tiemogo.
Speaking further, Tiemogo said Tanzania would have no hiding place and victory is assured for the team that is hungrier for goals: We know each other well since we have seen each other here at this tournament; Tanzania will defend as a block and it would be our determination to break them down in order to score goals.
The other match in the group between cup holders, Mali and Angola will be played at the Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville.
Soumaila Tiemogo (Head Coach, Niger)
We need a win in this coming match against Tanzania and we are going to pursue the objective. Tanzania can defend as a block and it would be our determination to break them down in order to score goals. Tanzania play the same style with the Gabonese team that we met in our last qualifying match for this AFCON and that also give our players the idea about how to play against Tanzania.
We are hopeful that the loss to Mali in our last match will also be a big morale for our boys because only a win tomorrow can give us the ticket to the World Cup.
Abdou Nasser Hassane (Defender, Niger)
I agree with what the coach have said, it is going to be a match of our lives and by the grace of God, we are going to achieve our objective. Our state of mind for this match on Sunday against Tanzania is good and we are fully motivated for this match; by the grace of God, we are going to win.
Bakari Shime (Head Coach, Tanzania
We are happy to be at this tournament and it has been good result so far but we know that Niger is a strong time. We need at least a point in this match and we must be very disciplined both in defence and attack in order to contain Niger. It is first time for Tanzania and we have prepared well; it is our plan to be at the World Cup in India and we shall be there. When you win games, it gives you more confidence and we are sure that the last victory against Angola will help our psychology going into the match against Niger.
Dickson Nickson Job (Captain, Tanzania)
First of all, we have prepared well and we are looking forward to the match against Niger. We got experience from the last two matches against Mali and Angola; we are going to take these experiences with us again to play Niger.
Source: Confederation Africaine de Football