Nigeria, Mali clash … in African Under-20 Nations Cup semis today

Nigeria celebrating a goal at the Niger tournament

Nigeria celebrating a goal at the Niger tournament

SEVEN-time champions Nigeria will take on Mali this afternoon in the first semi-final game of the African Under-20 Nations Cup at the Stade Général S.K in Niamey, Niger.

The Nigerians posted a painful 1-0 victory over host nation Niger last Friday, while the Malians beat their Ghanaian counterparts by the same scoreline on Saturday to make it to the last four.

This afternoon’s game promises to be full of fireworks as the Malians have vowed to defeat Nigeria and spoil their dreams of winning the trophy for the eighth time.

Mali themselves are chasing their first trophy in this competition.

Kick-off is at 3.30pm GMT.

The other semi-final tie is between South Africa and Senegal – who by far, appear the finest team in Niger.

The Senegalese began the campaign by drubbing both Mali and Ghana 2-0 before white-washing Burkina Faso 5-1. Against South Africa in the second semis of the day, the Junior Terranga Lions appear overwhelming favourites, but must be wary of their equally tactically rich opponents who held Nigeria to a pulsating o-o drawn game during their group stage.

All four countries – Nigeria, Mali, Senegal and South Africa have qualified for the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup to be hosted by Poland, later this year.

BY TIMES SPORTS REPORTER

 

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