14.06.2015 Sports News

U20 World Cup: Africa gets two semi spots as Senegal, Mali advance

By MyJoyOnline
U20 World Cup: Africa gets two semi spots as Senegal, Mali advance
LISTEN JUN 14, 2015

Mali and Senegal have made sure that African teams occupy half of the final four spots at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

Mali defeated favourites Germany 4-3 in a penalty shootout, following 120 minutes that only produced a 1-1 tie.

Julian Brandt gave the Germans the opening goal in the 38th minute and Mali goalkeeper Djigui Diarra saved a penalty before Souleymane Coulibaly headed the Eagles level in the 58th minute.

The Africans, who beat Ghana 3-0 to get to this stage, are now on course to match their best result in the competition at least - when they finished with the bronze medal in 1999.

The Eaglets will now meet Serbia in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

Cubs heroics
Senegal coach Joseph Koto (pictured below) masterminded defeated Uzbekistan 1-0 in the quarter-finals on Sunday morning.

A well-taken late second half goal by Mamadou Thiam decided the closely-fought contest at the Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington, and set up a mouthwatering semi-final battle with five-time champions Brazil.

It has been an enthralling ride for the debuting Senegalese after their opening day 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Portugal - who they could have met again in the semi-finals had the Europeans not fallen to Brazil in another penalty shootout earlier in the day.

The Lion cubs drew 1-1 with Colombia in their second game before coming from behind to edge Qatar 2-1 in their final group game. They then outlasted Ukraine in a bruising quarter-final clash that was decided by a penalty shootout.

Elsewhere, Serbia and the United States traded 18 penalties before Serbia emerged 6-5 winner of a match which had been locked 0-0 after extra time.

And five-time champion Brazil was taken to penalties for the second match in a row before beating Portugal 3-1 following another 0-0 draw. Brazil will play Senegal in Wednesday's other semi.

Follow Gary on Twitter: @garyalsmith
Story by Ghana/Joy Sports/Gary Al-Smith

ModernGhana Links