TotalEnergies U17 AFCON: Somalia proud despite group stage Exit

Despite their early exit from the TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Somalia’s head coach Nur Mohamed Amin is incredibly proud of his team’s performance.

Somalia, making their debut in any continental championship across any age group, managed to earn a point from three matches, including a 3-0 defeat to group winners Senegal in their last match.

“No one is happy with a defeat, but for me and the team, we are happy,” Nur said.

“We are delighted to be on this stage. This is the first time ever for a Somali national team to get this experience with such a tournament and now we are inspired. We got one point from three matches and for us, we will celebrate that.”

Despite being from a country that has faced significant challenges with war and instability as compared to other African countries with better infrastructure and more stability, Somalia had qualified for the tournament after winning the CECAFA regional championships last October, beating South Sudan in the finals.

Playing at the tournament has increased the hunger for the head coach and the team to come back again, even for U20, U23 and senior national teams.

“We want to continue developing our football. We are getting help from the Somali Football Federation and the government in our efforts to reach our goals. For me, we played well in this tournament, and it is something we can build on. For sure, we will come back,” added Nur.

The team’s impressive performance, despite the early exit, has not only made the country incredibly proud, but it has also helped boost their confidence and spirits. Somalia’s national teams now aim to remain on the high table of African football.

Having been assured of topping the group, Senegal will now return to the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers where they meet the third placed team from either Group B or C in the quarter finals.

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