Niger, Senegal open Group B battle

Niger, Senegal open Group B battle

Friday Sep 15, 2017. 15:35

Niger and Senegal will open Group B at the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations when they meet at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Friday afternoon, kick-off at 15h00 local time.

Niger were surprise qualifiers for the second round, upsetting Burkina Faso 2-1 on Sunday night. Boubacar Hainikoye Soumana and Idrissa Halidou scored the crucial goals for the Menas, who will be hoping to advance through the group stage for the first time.

Niger coach Francois Zahoui will have been delighted with his team’s maturity and composure against the higher-ranked Stallions, but he will know that even further improvement is needed if they are to match Senegal, Ivory Coast and Benin in their tough group.

Senegal had a tough time securing their place in the last eight of the WAFU tournament, as they were held goalless by Liberia in their first round knockout tie, before edging the Lone Stars 5-4 on penalties.

Teranga Lions coach Moustapha Seck shrugged off the unconvincing triumph over a lower-ranked opponent, insisting that his team is ready to “pounce” and is “taking the games step-by-step”.

Senegal and Niger have met in eight previous matches, according to FIFA statistics. The Teranga Lions have claimed six wins - compared to just one for the Menas - and outscored their opponents 13 goals to five in the process.

NIGER v SENEGAL

Niger v Senegal, head-to-head

Matches played 8
Niger wins 1
Senegal wins 6
Draws 1
Niger goals 5
Senegal goals 13