Tuesday’s encounter between Somalia and Congo ended in a 1-1 tie at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers, giving Somalia their first-ever goal and their first-ever point at the TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations.
In the first half, debutants Dini Dahir scored, but Congo responded to tie the score in the second half through Ayel Wumba Niati.
Congo and Somalia each earned one point from the match, and they may both advance to the round of eight with victories in their remaining group stage games.
Senegal, which has already qualified, will go to Constantine to face Somalia, while Algeria, which is hosting and also on the clock, will play Congo.
Somalia was eager to prove themselves after losing their opening match to Algeria, and in the 31st minute, Dahir capitalized on an Idriis Aden through ball to put the team ahead.
After a sustained period of pressure, during which Congo had camped in the Somali half, Ayel was twice denied by outstanding close-range saves from the goalkeeper.
Congo knew they had to capitalize on their opportunities in the second half, and they did so in the 57th minute when Ayel handled a long ball inside the box and fired low past the goalkeeper to square the score.
Abdikadir Mohamed, the goalkeeper for Somalia, earned his keep with save after save. He first made a terrific block to stop Digne Pounga before diving in to stop Gloire Nzebele’s strike.
Abdiasis Bahur, a replacement, rode his bike on the right before breaking into the box in the 89th minute and nearly scored for Somalia, but the goalkeeper saved his attempt.