Somalia has worked relentlessly to prepare for the competition, but there have been difficulties, with crucial scorer Abdihafid Mohamed potentially missing the tournament due to a contentious failed MRI exam for age verification. The Somali Football Federation, perplexed by the results, has requested more information about Abdihafid’s test results. Despite this, the team remains upbeat in the face of a formidable Algerian opponent.
Algeria, the host country, is well aware of the mental strain that comes with hosting a tournament. Arezki Remmane, head coach, feels their expertise and training will enable them overcome it.
“Every first-round match is difficult for the host nation.” There will be a lot of mental strain. “The mental aspect is very important in this competition,” remarked the tactician.
Remmane intends to learn from their successful Under-17 Arab Cup in 2022 and exploit home advantage to win the African title.
The Somali team, while being considered underdogs, has a lot of potential. The Ocean Stars will battle in a tough Group A alongside Algeria, Senegal, and Congo. The team is led by coach Nur Mohamed Amin, and it has been enhanced by the inclusion of excellent foreign-born players such as Yassin Abdirahman and Idiris Abdiwahab Aden.
Somalia’s participation in the AFCON U-17 tournament marks an important step forward in the country’s football development. Faced with a difficult battle in Group A, the Ocean Stars’ dedication and enthusiasm will definitely shine through, demonstrating that even underdogs can make an impact in the event.
The match between Somalia and Algeria will set the tone for the rest of the competition, with the entire football world watching intently. The top four African Cup of Nations teams will advance to the FIFA U-17 World Cup later this year.
The highly anticipated match begins at 10 p.m. local time.