Debutant Somalia set to battle host Algeria in the TotalEnergies Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday at the newly built Nelson Mandela Stadium.
The Horn of Africa nation qualified for a continental championship for the first time in its history after their triumph in the CECAFA regional qualifiers, where they beat South Sudan 3-1 in the final.
Hoping to shine in youth continental football for the first time but will face stiff opposition in Group A – matches against the likes of hosts Algeria, Senegal and Congo.
Algeria head coach Rezki Remmane acknowledged that progressing from the group will not be easy for his side.
“We are paired with great nations that are regular in big competitions. I believe all groups are equal. To us, there are no easy or tough opponents. Senegal will certainly give us a tough time, but we will work to qualify for the World Cup, and why not go all the way at home.”
Algeria’sprevious participation at U17 AFCON
This will be their second appearance at the U17 Cup of Nations. Their only other experience was in 2009 when they hosted the competition.
They reached the final but lost 3-1 to the Gambia. They had qualified for the 2021 showpiece staged in Morocco but later cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Match schedule (All matches at 8 pm local time)
- April 29 – Algeria vs Somalia, Nelson Mandela Stadium
- May 2 – Congo vs Somalia, Nelson Mandela Stadium
- May 5 – Somalia vs Senegal, Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium, Constan