Starlets Ready For Niger

Ghana Black Starlets will face Niger’s Mena Cadets in the semifinal of the on-going Under-17 African Cup of Nations at the Stade Port Gentil, Port Gentil, Gabon, today.

The Starlets failed to beat Guinea in their final group game last Saturday with both sides advancing to the last four of the competition.

Having reached the U17 FIFA World Cup in India set for October, Ghana will be banking on their goal-scoring form to beat the Young Menas again.

The two sides met twice in warm-up games in Accra a month ago with the Starlets coming out victors with a 2-0 scoreline in both games.

While Ghana Coach, Paa Kwesi Fabin, has called on his team to guard against complacency, Niger Coach, Ismaila Tiemoko, has expressed delight in their semifinals finish which comes as a huge boost.

“We respect our opponents.  Our chance of progressing to the final is very bright. We are happy they’ve qualified together with us. We played two friendlies with them as part of our preparations for this competition. We learnt a lot from them.”

“Though we beat them in both matches we know they now know our team as we know them but a semi-final match is not the same as a friendly so we are leaving no stone unturned. So, our chances are bright. We know them and they also know us so I think it will be an interesting match.”

In the second semifinal game, defending champions Mali are up for a battle against Guinea at the Stade de l’Amitié Sino-Gabonaise in Libreville.

There will be no extra-time but games which finish in stalemates at the end of normal playing time will be determined via penalty shootouts.

All semifinalists at the Under-17 AFCON have also secured tickets to represent Africa at the FIFA World Cup to be hosted by India later in October.

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