The head coach of South Africa’s Men’s U17 football team Duncan Crowie has qualified his nation’s group in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), as a tough one.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) conducted the draw ceremony of the first ever 12-nations U17 AFCON this Wednesday at National de l’Armee in Algiers.
During the draw lead by legends Herita Ilunga of the DR Congo and Algeria’s Ibrahim Bekakchi pitted South Africa in the same group against Zambia plus giants Nigeria and Morocco.
Crowie believes Group B is tough but remains ambitious and motivated.
‘’Yes, it is definitely the ‘Group of Death’, he stated before adding, “that is what soccer is all about, players would like to play against the top teams and here they have been presented with a great opportunity to play against top countries as far as soccer is concerned on the continent.
Crowie guiding South Africa to their fourth tournament and hoping the 2015 runners-up repeat their last feat in Gabon to earn a ticket for Peru.
‘’If we make it out of this group and we qualify for the semi-finals, then we deserve to play in the FIFA World Cup because we will have played and beaten the best teams on the continent,’’ Crowie explained.
Truly South Africa has a mountain to climb. Nigeria who were seeded during the draw are making a record tenth appearance at the youth tournament while Morocco is building a frightening project for themselves and Zambia edged them in the regional (COSAFA) final.
The event for boys born from January 1, 2006 have hosts Algeria, Senegal, Congo and Somalia in Group A while defending champions Cameroon plus 2013 winners Burkina Faso make a return after ten years to join two-time champions Mali and debutants South Sudan in Group C.
The 15th edition of the tournament will run from April 29 to May 19 in the Algerian cities of Algiers, Annaba and Constantine.
If South Africa or any other is among the best four teams at the tournament they will qualify for the 2023 FIFA World Cup finals billed for later this year in Peru.
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