AFCON U-17:Hosts Algeria Share Spoils with Congo


By Eniola Olatunji

…To meet Morocco at Anaba in the Quarters on 11th May.

Hosts Algeria survived a shock treatment from Congo DR ending their group B game 1-1 at the Nelson Mandela Stadium, Algiers on Friday night.

A Ndzoukou pulled the high blood pressure string for the Algerian fans scoring for Congo in the 66th minute but Moslem Anatouf came to rescue the Algerians from the bench this time in the 74th minute from Behlouli assist. Behlouli reminds one of the most tormented defender in Africa by Mathematical Segun Odegbami of Nigeriain the 80s as admitted by the careful defender. He was forced by the mesmerizing dribbles of Odegbami to score an own goal which devastated him. I covered the match then. Moslem had bombed the Somali squad with two goals at this tournament.

Algeria was just lucky for the day as the team had 5 shots at goal with 2 on target compared with 14 shots at goal and 7 on target of Congo. Congo had a fanciful 466 passes with 76% accuracy against Algeria’s 271 and 54% accuracy but the Congolese committed 15-9 fouls and had 5-6 corner kicks.

Hosts Algeria and Congo has never met before but Algeria came once hosting in 2009 and lost the trophy to Gambia 1-3. Congo in their first appearance at Rwanda 2011won the Bronze shocking the Young Elephants of Ivory Coast 2-1 but in their second coming at Morocco 2013 the team placed 7th having been edged out at the group stages in the years that only 8 teams compete.

Senegal topped the Group B with full 9 points and with a clean slate meaning they are yet to concede a goal scoring 7 goals. Hosts Algeria clinched the second spot with 4 points but scored 3 goals and conceded 4; Congo will need to wait till Sunday to be among the lucky losers to qualify for the quarterfinals as the team made 2 points, scored 2 goals and conceded 3 while debutantes Somalia will take the available flight home in the next 48 hours having only a point, scored a goal and conceded 6.

Tomorrow Saturday, Nigeria will test strength against South Africa while Zambia will face Morocco both matches will be played simultaneously at 2000 hours in Group B.

On Sunday at 2000 hours Mali will be watching Burkina Faso slug it out with the Cub Lions of Cameroon in Group C as Southern Sudan which should have played the Malians has been disqualified.

Already the fixtures for the quarterfinals are taking shape. Senegal will meet the team from group B or C on the 10th of May at Constantine; Morocco will line up against hosts Algeria at Anaba on 11th May; Mali will meet Congo at Algiers on 11th May and the Group B Runners Up will slug it out with Group C Runners up at Algiers on 11th May.

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