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AFCON U-17: Senegal overwhelm South Africa for semifinal spot and FIFA U-17 World Cup qualification

Senegal became the first African nation to book their ticket to the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup with a 5-0 thrashing of South Africa in Wednesday’s opening quarterfinal match from the 2023 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations in Algeria. Two own goals handed Senegal the lead towards the end of the first half before Mamadou Sadio scored and Amara Diouf added two more goals in a lopsided victory for Les Lionceaux . Senegal will face the winner of Thursday’s match between Nigeria and Burkina Faso in the semifinals.

South Africa played fairly well in the opening thirty minutes to keep Group A winners Senegal in check but after Amajimbos forward Michael Dokunmu missed an open header in the 35th minute, it was a disastrous end to the first half. A minute later a headed ball back across the South African goal saw central defender Waylon Renecke slice his clearance attempt into the goal. Three minutes later Renecke’s center back partner Benjamin Wallis followed suit when a Diouf free kick was blocked in front of goal and the captain’s lunge knocked the ball by helpless goalkeeper Gennaro Johnson.

The match was all but over in the 44th minute when a dangerous cross led to Abdou Fall collecting and holding the ball up before laying off for Sadio to strike low past Johnson. In the second half it was the turn of Senegal captain Diouf to steal the show with an easy finish in the 54th minute after forward Omar Sall drew Johnson out and crossed for the Génération Foot player. Diouf completed the rout in the 72nd minute by ghosting in to head home from an Ibrahima Diallo cross.

Highlights from Wednesday’s first semifinal are below.

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