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U-17 Afcon: Niger out to shock Ghana in semi-final

11:52 AM WAT 24/05/2017
Niger U17
Coach Ismaila Tiemoko believes his team will surprise the Black Starlets on Wednesday

Niger are confident of causing an upset when they face favourites Ghana in the semi-final of the ongoing Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations in Gabon.

Just last month, the Menas suffered 2-0 defeats to the Black Starlets in a double-header of pre-tournament friendlies in Accra.

But coach Ismaila Tiemoko, who led the side to secure a last four berth by beating Tanzania 1-0 in their last group game, is confident of turning a corner in Port-Gentil on Wednesday.

"I think this is going to be a 50-50 match because this is competition and not a friendly match," Tiemoko told Cafonline.

"We are not going to play Ghana with a lot of pressure, although we lost twice to them in Accra in friendly matches.

"The game on Wednesday will be different because we are going to use the lessons we drew from our two losses in the friendly match against them. 

"They are the ones that would be worried about playing us now because we are in a very high spirit after qualifying for the World Cup."

That said, Ghana are unarguably in the form of their lives.

The Black Starlets scored an amazing nine goals in their first two matches to book qualification with a match to spare.

However, Tiemoko remains unfazed: "I think they are the ones who will be under pressure because they would start as favourites.

"We want to go a step further because we have the winning mentality."

The winners go on to face the victors of the second semi-final clash between Mali and Guinea in Sunday's climax.