Nigeria, Senegal secure U-20 World Cup ticket

Record champions of the To­talEnergies Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria, qualified for the semi-finals of the tournament in Egypt­following their 1-0 victory over Uganda in Ismailia on Thursday.

Ladan Bosso’s charges saw off the brilliant Hippos in the fiercely contested match at the Suez Canal Stadium to qualify for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia.

Uganda left full-back, Ibrahim Juma, scored an own goal at the half hour mark to secure the Flying Eagles’ place in the last four of the tournament.

The Hippos dominated possession in the opening exchanges with Captain Isma Mugu­lusi and Titus Ssematimba pulling the strings in the middle for Jackson Mayanja’s side.

John Dembe forced a save from Flying Eagles captain and goalkeeper, Chijioke Ani­agboso, inside three minutes of the match.

The two sides cancelled each other in the bruising contest with few chances on either end. Nigeria forward, Abubakar Ayuba, saw his ferocious effort gathered by Abdu Magada in the Hippos goal midway through the first half.

The Flying Eagles went in front through Ibrahim Juma’s own goal, when he inadver­tently turned the ball into his goal.

The young defender was covering his goal when Ibrahim Muhammad’s sumptuous strike came off the post and bounced off his leg to give Nigeria the victory.

The Ugandans continued to press the Flying Eagles deep into their box, but they couldn’t find the equaliser.

Captain, Isma Mugulusi, and diminutive attacking midfielder, Travis Mutyaba, all came close but failed to find a way past the towering Chijioke Aniagboso in between the sticks for Ladan Bosso’s team.

Nigeria held on to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup and the semi-finals of the TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations.

Senegal edge Benin

On the same night, Senegal beat Benin 1-0 to qualify for the semi-finals of the TotalEn­ergies Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations and also seal their place at the Under-20 World Cup.

Malick Daf’s Teranga Cubs needed a second goal from captain, Samba Diallo, to beat the Cheetahs at the Cairo International Stadium on Thursday.

Diallo headed in from Lamine Camara’s brilliant free kick to send the West Africans to the semis and the World Cup.

The Young Teranga started the better side at the Cairo International Stadium with Lamine Camara and Djibril Diop pulling the strings in midfield.

The Cheetahs defended well, restrict­ing Senegal to limited access in their area. Bachirou Attivi and Morile Dossou-Dognon covering the wide areas.

Landing Badji who won the Best Goal­keeper of the group failed to deal with a long ball into the Senegal area leaving Olatoundji Tessilimi who couldn’t hit the target.

Benin continued to play on the break against the well drilled Senegal team, who came into the match with an impressive record scoring eight goals without conceding.

Senegal created the best chance of the first half through captain, Samba Diallo’s, low drive from Sulaymane Faye unselfish cut back agonisingly missed the target with the keeper rooted to the ground five minutes before the break.

The WAFU-A champions, Senegal, started the second half with more purpose and zeal as they pushed more into the Cheetahs half.

Senegal broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half through captain Samba Diallo’s diving header from a well worked set piece.

The captain turned in Lamine Camara’s free kick at the far post to beat the helpless Rahman Karim and hand Senegal a deserved lead.

Diallo should have doubled Senegal’s lead on 67 minutes, when he fired straight at the woodwork from Sulaymane Faye’s intelligent pass.

Faye latched on to a long ball deep into the Benin half which Karim failed to clear allowing the youngster to square it to captain Diallo, who couldn’t convert into an empty goal.

The Teranga Cubs continued to dominate and Pape Diallo came close with a half volley late on but Karim was well positioned to gather.

With time running out substitute, Stephane Vignigbe, glanced a header wide for Benin, as Senegal held on to qualify to semifinals and book a place at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia. — Cafonline

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