If past results are anything to be considered, Wednesday’s semi-final clash of Nigeria and Guinea in the CAF U-17 Nations Cup will be in Nigeria’s favour.
Sports Village Square recalls that this will be their ninth clash since they both met at the inaugural FIFA tournament in China in 1985. Most results have skewed in Nigeria’s favour, winning four times and drawing three within regulation time.
Even the 1-1 draw in the semi-finals at China 1985 ended in Nigeria’s favour as the Eaglets prevailed 4-2 in the ensuing penalty kick. Guinea’s only win was their coming from a goal down to beat Nigeria 3-1 at Niger 2015 championship’s third place match.
Nigeria have been victorious at the continental tournament on two occasions, in 2001 and 2007, and are the record winners of the FIFA U17 World Cup (five times). They are also taking part in their 9th U17 AFCON. This is an intimidating pedigree that is bound to send jitters into Guinea’s camp.
However, Guinea also come into the encounter with some recent eye –popping accomplishments. The Junior Syli Nationale are the reason why Cup holders Mali are not in Tanzania, having beaten the Malians at the WAFU A Tournament in September to earn their ticket.
The Guineans also flaunt victories over Senegal (another team highly respected in youth football) and Morocco in the group phase as they set to trade tackles with the Golden Eaglets on Wednesday.
With all four teams in the semi finals (Nigeria, Guinea, Cameroon, Angola) having secured their places at the FIFA U17 World Cup taking place in Brazil later in the year, there would be no pulling punches as all of them focus on being in Sunday’s final in Tanzania’s capital.
Guinea are making their seventh appearance at the Africa U17 Cup of Nations which began in Mali 24 years ago.
Coach Manu Garba is most likely to start with his regular squad, meaning Sunday Stephen in goal, Shedrack Tanko and Ogaga Oduko as wingbacks, Clement Ikenna and David Ishaya at centreback, captain Samson Tijani, Mayowa Abayomi (or Fawaz Abdullahi) and Olatomi Olaniyan in the midfield, and Akinkunmi Ayobami Amoo, Olakunle Olusegun and Wisdom Ubani at the fore.
In the second semi final, kicking off a few hours later at the same venue, Cameroon and Angola will clash in what is expected to be another enthralling encounter.
P W D L F A
Nigeria 8 4 3 1 16 8
Guinea 8 1 3 4 8 16
- 9 Aug. 1985 Guinea 1-1 Nigeria
- 21 May 1995 Guinea 1-2 Nigeria
- 31 Jan. 1997 Guinea 0-2 Nigeria
- 18 Feb. 2001 Guinea 2-2 Nigeria
- 14 Oct. 2012 Nigeria 3-0 Guinea
- 28 Oct. 2012 Guinea 0-4 Nigeria
- 18 Feb 2015 Guinea 1-1 Nigeria
1 Mar. 2015 Guinea 3-1 Nigeria