Bilal Hassane Earns Spot on Niger National Team for Africa Cup of Nations Qualification Tournament

Bilal Hassane Earns Spot on Niger National Team for Africa Cup of Nations Qualification Tournament

November 12, 2018 – Mount St. Mary's men's soccer standout Bilal Hassane has earned a spot on the Niger National Team for the Africa Cup of Nations Qualification Tournament.

Hassane, a native of Niamey, Niger, will be representing his home country at the qualifying tournament, hoping to help Niger secure a berth to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Team Niger's group includes Tunisia, Egypt, and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). The teams play against each other in home-and-away round-robin format, with the group winner and runner-up earning qualifying bids to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

"I am very excited for Bilal to have this opportunity," said Mount Head Coach Bryan Cunningham. "It is a privilege to represent your country in international competition, and I know Bilal is relishing this experience. He has been developing over the last year and it's great to see him rewarded."

Hassane, a Mount St. Mary's team captain in 2018, anchored the defensive unit throughout the season, helping the team secure shutout efforts in a win over VMI and a draw with Fairleigh Dickinson. The junior defender's penalty kick proved to be the game winner in the victory over VMI, which was the Mount's first win of the season.