Somalia’s youthful football team, known as the Ocean Stars, is preparing to face off against host nation Algeria in the TotalEnergies Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday.The match will take place at the recently constructed Nelson Mandela Stadium. This historic moment marks the first time that the Horn of Africa nation has qualified for a continental championship. The Ocean Stars earned their spot in the tournament after emerging victorious in the CECAFA regional qualifiers, where they defeated South Sudan 3-1 in the final.Despite being debutants on the continental stage, the Ocean Stars are determined to make their mark and showcase their potential.
They are eager to represent Somalia and demonstrate the passion and skill of the country’s young footballers. With an impressive performance in the regional qualifiers, the team has proven that they have what it takes to compete at a high level.As they prepare for their upcoming match against Algeria, the Ocean Stars are focused and determined. They are aware of the challenges that lie ahead, but they are also confident in their abilities and their training. The team is committed to putting their best foot forward and making Somalia proud, regardless of the outcome of the match.As they take to the field on Saturday, the Ocean Stars will be carrying the hopes and dreams of their nation with them, and they are determined to give it their all.
The Somali team is not devoid of talent and among the players to watch is Abdi Hafid Mohamed Ali who plays for local club Elman. The midfielder was one of the most influential players in the qualifiers where he scored thrice to help the team clinch the CECAFA ticket.The team also has some foreign-based talent to watch out for, including midfielder Idriss Abdiwahaab who plays for Swedish club IFK Uddevalla.Canadian based forward Abdiaziz Abdirahman who plays for Toronto FC has also been named in the Somali team that heads to Algiers and will be one to keep an eye on.
Football has consistently shown to be crucial in giving youth a source of income, along with entertainment and a conduit for societal integration, as the country struggles with political unrest and challenging economic times.