Serengeti Boys still in contention for 2019 AFCON U-17 last four

19Apr 2019
Joseph Mchekadona
The Guardian
Serengeti Boys still in contention for 2019 AFCON U-17 last four

SERENGETI Boys head coach, Oscar Mirambo, has said people should not count his side out of qualification for the semi-finals of the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) U-17 Championship in Tanzania.

Serengeti Boys that have conceded back to back losses to against Nigeria and Uganda in Group A of the championship will tomorrow play Angola in a match seen by many people as mere formality due to the team’s poor results.

But after the defeat to Uganda on Wednesday, Mirambo admitted that his charges have made matters worse.

However, he said his charges are capable of winning tomorrow’s game convincingly and at the same time pray that Nigeria and Uganda register a barren draw.

Serengeti are at the bottom of Group A with no point while Nigeria are the group leaders with six points. Uganda and Angola have three points apiece. 

For Serengeti Boys to progress to the semi-finals and qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, they need to record more than four goals against Angola tomorrow and pray Uganda and Nigeria register a barren draw.

"First of all, we must accept the challenge in front of us and then have faith that we can do the impossible, I am sure our chances to reach the semi-finals are there,” he said.

Serengeti Boys have scored four goals and conceded eight and, due to this, on paper it is impossible for the squad to post more than four goals against Angola that have conceded one goal and scored the same number. Surprises, though, are still plenty in soccer.

After good preparations for the continental showpiece, many domestic football fans had hoped that Serengeti Boys will qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup but the results have so far been against the expectations.

People, though, should understand that results are not always important in the AFCON U-17 Championship as the tournament is mainly for development of the teams and a platform where unpolished gems are discovered and gain experience.

Mirambo further said the U-17 players are using the tournament to prepare for senior national team.

"The team can proceed to the semi-finals of the tournament but the other good thing is that this tournament has prepared the players for a big stage,” he said.

A section of Serengeti Boys’ players are expected to land deals with foreign clubs as the AFCON U-17 Championship has attracted scouts from all over the world.

Habari Kubwa