The just ended U-20 African Cup of Nations brought forth a new champion as Mali was crowned champions after defeating Senegal on penalties on Sunday.
The Malians defeated Senegal on penalties after a one all score line after extra time. The lost by Senegal means they have lost their last three AFCON finals in succession.
Senegal couldn’t hold Mali for long as the Aiglons found the back of the net after fifteen minutes. Boubacar Traore put Mali in the lead after finishing off Haadji Drame’s delivery, to put Senegal behind for the first time in the tournament.
With 17 minutes to go, Amadou Ndiaye scored to drag Senegal back into the game and take the game to extra time. The game had to be decided on penalties as none of the teams were able to find the back of the net during the extra time period.
Mali won the game after successfully converting three penalties to Senegal’s two.
The tournament is the 15th edition to be hosted with Nigeria bagging in a maximum of seven titles. The African U-20 tournament is a biennial youth tournament organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for players aged from 20 and below.
The tournament consists of eight teams in two group to battle it out for the ultimate prize. The top two of each group moves to the semifinals and automatically gain qualification into the FIFA U-20 World Cup per FIFA rules.
The FIFA U-20 World Cup to be hosted by Poland will have AFCON champions Mali, second place Senegal, third place South Africa and fourth place Nigeria represent Africa in the U-20 World Cup.