February, 3 2023.
Following their heavy defeat to Algeria in the semi-final, the Republic of Niger have now redirected their focus on a podium finishing at the TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN) Algeria 2022.
Visibly hurt and distraught on Tuesday night when Les Menas got trounced 5-0 by the tournament hosts, Desert Foxes of Algeria, Niger believe they have sufficiently recovered from the setback and are now fully focused on winning the Bronze medal, when they face Madagascar in the third-place playoff on Friday at the Miloud Hadefi Stadium in Oran, Algeria.
“We are in this position because we lost our semi-final match against Algeria. We would have loved to play the final but now, we have been presented with a new chance to fight for another medal and we shall do so against Madagascar,” explained Hassan Idé, the Niger assistant coach.
Idé told the media at the pre-match press conference that, “ haven turned a new page, their motivation is the same that they had when we they faced the likes of Congo, Cameroun, Ghana and even Algeria. And everyone in the team, wants to win.
Of course, he conceded that the defeat against Algeria was tough on him and the entire team; having not conceded before in the tournament. But rather than hide, they have resolved to continue with the right attitude, tonight.
Niger defender Mohamed Idrissa Karimou added that, “We are competitors. Things did not go in our favour against Algeria, and it was a heavy defeat but that is football. We have now moved on and are focused on the task ahead.”
Whatever the result of this game is, this will be the highest position that the Menas of Niger will have achieved in four CHAN appearances.
In 2011, Niger reached the quarterfinals of the CHAN in Sudan but failed to make it out of the group stages five years later in Rwanda and at the last edition in Cameroun.
The current head coach Harouna Doula was also in charge in 2011 and 2020.
Meanwhile Madagascar lost the other Semifinal to the home-based Teranga Lions of Senegal who squeezed into the final with a 1-0 victory.