Niger braced up for stern Ghana test at U-17 World Cup

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The Menas will give their all against their African counterpart in the last 16 of the world youth championship, their coach has said

Niger coach Ismaila Tiemoko says his team will fight until the last drop of blood when they clash with Ghana in the round of 16 of the ongoing Fifa Under-17 World Cup in India on Wednesday.

The Menas are set to face their familiar foes at the DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai, having already met three times in 2017.

The two sides faced off in a double-header as part of preparations for the African Championship earlier this year, before locking horns for the third time at the final tournament in Gabon.

“We played two friendlies against Ghana before the Africa Cup and lost both of them 0-2,” Tiemoko said at the pre-match presser ahead of Wednesday’s showdown.

“We learnt from them and when we met them [again at] the [Afcon] tournament, we held them 0-0 and then lost on penalties. We are hoping for a victory.

“I don't think everyone has said Ghana will win. We have nothing to lose.”

Debutants Niger got their India 2017 campaign off to a flying start with a 1-0 win over North Korea but fell 4-0 and 2-0 to Spain and Brazil respectively in their other group games.

“It will be rough and tough. But I also expect fair play and lots of good performances. It's going to be a close match, that's for sure. It's going to be an open match.

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“It's about mentality - more than physical or tactical. We are going to fight till we [don’t] have the energy.

“Our goal now is to reach the final. No team is here to lose. We have good hopes for the match.”

The Menas finished second from bottom in Group D but the three points of their opener was enough to secure them passage to the knockout stage as one of the four best third-placed teams.

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