Niger, Ghana settle on luck after U-17 Afcon shootout

Niger U17
Coaches of the two teams agree luck was the separating factor in Wednesday's showdown

Niger coach Ismaila Tiemoko believes Ghana were fortunate to have emerged victors in their semi-final clash at the ongoing Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations on Wednesday.

Following a 0-0 draw after normal time in Port-Gentil, Gabon, the last four fixture zoomed into a shootout where the Black Starlets walked away with a 5-6 win.

The match was the third meeting between the two sides in two months, Ghana having also won each of the first two encounters by a 2-0 scoreline.

"The game was done very well and as I said before now, we knew ourselves and Ghana were very lucky in the penalty shootout," Tiemoko said.

"I want to congratulate the coach of Ghana for this victory. 

"We have improved and our next focus after the U-17 is the U-20 which hopefully most of these boys would be available and we have learned so much from this tournament."

Ghana coach Paa Kwesi Fabin does admit that they were indeed lucky.

"We have given people of Port-Gentil really entertainment," Fabin said.

"It was a very tactical match and I want to congratulate Niger for giving us a very good match.

"Though we had chances, we missed them but we are lucky to go through on penalties, 

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"We would correct the mistakes before heading for the final on Sunday."

Ghana play Mali, who similarly just edged Guinea on penalties, in the final on Sunday.