Congo Coach Targets AYC Finals

Ahead of his side’s Group A opener, Italy-born coach of Congo, Paolo Berretttini has sounded out a warning to his opponents with a declaration that their objective remains a place at the final.
Knowing very well that a place at the semis is enough to earn them a ticket to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand in June, Berretteni, who has had previous spells with the national youth sides of his native Italy, is looking beyond that with the ultimate the ideal target.
Congo, champions in 2007 when they hosted the tournament are making a return to the biggest stage of youth football on the continent under the guidance of a man who has seen it all having steered the Italian U-19 side to the European title in 2003 in Liechtenstein with a squad that included Giorgio Chiellini (now with Juventus), Gianpaolo Pazzini (AC Milan) and Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina).
“We made some surprises during the qualifiers by eliminating the defending champions, Egypt. It was a surprise but we knew we are capable,” Berrettini told the media at the press conference on the eve of their Group A opener against Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium in Dakar.
“We are in a difficult group which also includes the hosts and Nigeria. We want to get out of the group. I have a good team of young players who are capable. However, our objective is to reach the final.”
Berrettini, who assumed the head coach role of all the Congolese national youth teams in January 2014, will be counting on the experience of his goalkeeper and captain Pavel Ndzila to realizing his objective.
The 20-year old Ndzila was a member of the Congo squad that reached the quarters of the 2015 Orange Africa Cup of Nations, but served as an understudy to Christopher Mafoumbi and Chancel Massa.
he Congolese will next play Nigeria on 11 March 2015 before squaring up with hosts Senegal four days later, both at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium in Dakar.

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