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Goal rain floods U-17 African Cup quarter finals



It was a shower of rain at the U-17 African Cup of Nations on Wednesday night.

The two quarter finals of the day produced eight goals. It began with Morocco beating their arch rivals and hosts, Algeria, 3-0.

Senegal followed up with a 5-0 pummelling of South Africa.

Both Morocco and Senegal have therefore picked U17 World Cup tickets. Two more are at stake this Thursday night.

In the Algeria – Morocco match, Zakaria Ouazane scored a goal in either half and  Adam Chakir adding a late third at a stunning a fully packed Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui in Constantine.

In the case of Senegal, a pair of first half own goals by each of South Africa’s central defenders followed up by Mamadou Sadio’s goal and skipper Amara Diouf’s brace saw the Teranga Cubs continue with their impressive performance in the competition.


This is the first time ever that Senegal have progressed beyond the group stages of the U17 AFCON. They have also qualified for the World Cup for the second time in their history, having done so in 2019.

Senegal scored three goals in seven minutes late in the first half to completely break down a spirited fight from South Africa.

Waylon Renecke was unfortunate to turn the ball into his own net in the 36th minute as he tried to cut out a headed ball just inside the six yard box.

Three minutes later, his central defense partner, skipper Benjamin Wallis, also put the ball into his own net as he tried to clear out after the keeper had spilled a freekick from Diouf.

Senegal made it 3-0 in the 43rd minute when Sadio scored with a brilliant half volley from the edge of the box after Abdou Aziz Fall had teed up the ball for him.


With a 3-0 cushion at halftime and a complete dominance that had seen South Africa fail to land a ball on target, the West Africans had the job half done.

In the second half, they needed just nine minutes to get their fourth, though it had to be given by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) which was being used at the tournament for the first time.

A run by Omar Sall on the left caught the South African backline off balance, the latter squaring for Diouf to slam home from inside the box. He had initially been flagged offside, but upon review, the VAR gave the goal.

In the 71st minute, Diouf who had enjoyed a brilliant performance capped it off with a brace when he headed home at the backpost after a brilliant cross from Ibrahima Diallo found his perfect run.

With a 5-0 cushion, South Africa’s fighting spirit was hugely dented, and Senegal eased through the remaining minutes with utter dominance to seal their place in the last four.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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