The young Teranga Lions of Senegal have qualified for their very first U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final on Sunday, May 14, 2023. This squad fought tooth and nail against Burkina Faso, with penalty shootouts (5–4) separating both sides.
Abdou Aziz Fall had offered Senegal the lead through a 15th-minute strike in Annaba, but skipper Emmanuel Ouedraogo would send home a low shot from the edge of the box to level the game six minutes to the end.
The encounter was a tight race for both sides, especially Senegal, who was put under immense pressure by Burkina Faso in the early minutes. From the high start, one will imagine Brahima Traore’s tactics were to squeeze a goal out of Salio Dia’s boys as early as possible. A strategy that worked for the first ten minutes with Osumane Camara, Souleymane Alio, and Aboubakar Camara creating goalscoring chances upfront.
This result, however, opened up the defense for Senegal to pass through. A beautiful combination on the left flank will force Isidore Traore to make a daring save, but it will not be safe enough as Azizi Fall will slot in the rebound. The turnout of events will discourage the young stallions,whose game intensity will drop at some point.
In the second-half, Aly Sokondou will be booked for handball for wading off Papa Ndiaye’s attempt. Captain Amara Diouf will step up to take the spot kick, but his efforts will go over the post. A huge miss that will come to hunt them in the form of Emmanuel Ouedraogo’s equalizer.
In penalty shootouts, Serigne Fallou Diouf,Pierre Dorival, Ibrahima Sory, and Mamadou Sawane will slot in for Senegal, and Skipper Souleymane Alio for Burkina Faso will send his shot over the bar, with Amara Diouf atoning with the winning spot.
Senegal has now qualified for all three finals in 2023. Weeks earlier, their U20 squad reached the finals, lifting the trophy in Egypt.
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