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AFCON U-17 Qualifying: Somalia complete dream tournament, defeat South Sudan to win CECAFA U-17 qualifying competition

Football supporters in Somalia and South Sudan are still celebrating after their respective under-17 national teams reached the final of the CECAFA regional qualifying tournament for the 2023 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations, clinching a spot each for both teams at the final tournament next year in Algeria. However only one team could win the regional competition in host nation Ethiopia and it was Somalia who completed a historic achievement, defeating the South Sudanese side 3-1 to take top honors on Saturday. Earlier in the day Tanzania defeated Uganda in the third place game on penalties after the teams drew 1-1.

Both Somalia and South Sudan had their opportunities in a final that was hard fought in the opening hour. The Somalians took an early lead through Abdihafid Mohamed Abdi, who slipped a low shot past the South Sudan goalkeeper in the 6th minute. Despite Somalia being supported by the majority of the crowd South Sudan pegged back soon after halftime with a 48th minute strike from Ajo Minari Alex Lomoro.

Abdirahin Mohamed Dahir soon restored Somalia’s lead in the 58th minute with a low first-time finish from a cross, however, and the Somalis took control of the match from then on. Dahir was at it again in the 71st minute when he ran onto a bouncing long ball and lofted his finish over the goalkeeper for a second goal to confirm Somalian celebrations.

Highlights from the final are below.

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