U-17 AFCON: Algeria battle Somalia in opening game
Algeria battle Somalia in the opening match of the 2023 U-17 AFCON on Saturday April 29, 2023 at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers.
The game will be preceded by a colourful opening ceremony at the 40,784 capacity sports complex named after Late South African President Nelson Mandela.
Algeria will be appearing at the U-17 AFCON for only a second time, the other in 2009 when they finished as runners-up. The hosts are tutored by Rezki Remane who acknowledges the tough competition expected as teams battle for the four World Cup tickets and the title.
Remane told the Pre-match interview “Every opening match is difficult for the host country. Mentally, it will be a lot of pressure. The mental factor is very important in this competition,” the tactician said.
“As far as we are concerned, we have experience. After our participation in the Arab Cup, we worked on this point and we know that the first match is very important for the rest of the competition.”
The Coach added “African football is constantly evolving. The teams present at this AFCON also know there is a World Cup ticket at stake, and it will make things really competitive.
” This will be like a mini World Cup. We are playing at home, and this will be a motivation for us,”
” The teams present at this AFCON also know there is a World Cup ticket at stake, and it will make things really competitive. This will be like a mini World Cup. We are playing at home, and this will be a motivation for us,” the Algeria U-17 boss said.
For Somalia, this will be their first ever U-17 AFCON appearance and it starts in the grandest fashion when they face hosts Algeria on Saturday evening.
Nicknamed the Ocean Stars, Nuur Maxamed tutored lads arrive at the AFCON as CESAFA Champions and will look to spoil the party for the hosts today.
“I have confidence in our players. We are lined up to face Algeria, Senegal and Congo, all of which are big teams and a motivating factor for us. We will see how the first game goes because I am confident that we can compete,” the tactician said.
“We have no idea about the Algerian team, but we have a squad that has a strategy. We know always that Algeria is a strong competitor. They have more good players and professionals, but we will be there to show our worth and prove ourselves,” he added.
Algeria will battle Somalia in the opening game with kick-off by 8pm.
Congo and Senegal are the other teams in Group A.