Under-20 AFCON: Senegal reach final after comfortable win over Tunisia

Senegalese players celebrating their victory against Tunisian players

Senegal qualified for the final match of the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Monday after Lamine Camara scored a double to help them defeat Tunisia 3-0 in Ismailia.

The Teranga Cubs won the semi-final match emphatically after beating the Young Carthage Eagles at the Suez Canal Authority Stadium to secure their place in the final.

Two goals from new FC Metz recruit Camara and a sumptuous strike by Pape Diop we’re enough to send Senegal to the final.

The three-time runners-up will face the winners of the second semi-final between Nigeria and The Gambia in the final on Saturday at the Cairo International Stadium.

Senegal started brightly with team captain Samba Diallo operating down the left channel while Mamadou Camara rejoined Lamine Camara in the heart of defence.

Senegal broke the deadlock through Zulte Waregem starlet Pape Diop’s ferocious effort from distance after seven minutes.

The 19-year-old forward latched onto Sulaymane Faye’s squared pass before beating Raed Gazzeh with a spectacular finish to register his fifth goal of the Under-20 AFCON in Egypt.

The Young Carthage Eagles grew into the match as they tried to weather the early Senegal storm at the Suez Canal Authority Stadium.

Mohamed Derbali forced a save from the towering Senegal goalkeeper Landing Badji.

The Olympique de Beja midfielder volleyed his rebound straight into the gloves of Badji.

The Young Teranga Lions upped the ante and came close through defender Seydou Sano’s long range drive which Gazzeh pushed away for a corner-kick.

The West Africans doubled their lead in the 17th minute through Camara.

The former Generation Foot graduate profited from his relentless press in the Carthage Eagles area to force Zinedine Sassi to under-hit his backpass before sliding it in.

Camara saw his well-drilled low effort on the edge of the Tunisian penalty box turned away for a corner-kick.

Gazzeh immediately after produced another top class save to deny Samba Diallo from giving Senegal a three-goal lead.

Adel Sellimi’s side should have pulled a goal back on the half hour mark when Ali Saoudi headed Mohamed Dhaoui’s free-kick just wide off Badji’s far post.

The Carthage Eagles coach made two changes six minutes before the break withdrawing Ghaith Wahabi and Sassi for Yassine Dridi and Adam Garreb respectively.

Mahmoud Ghorbel failed to convert Derbali’s inviting cross into the Senegal penalty box on 42 minutes.

The Club Sportif Sfaxien defender broke free at the back-post but could not beat Badji in the Teranga Cubs goal.

Malick Daf’s side held onto their two-goal lead going into the break as they moved closer to their fourth appearance in the Under-20 AFCON final.

Senegal started the second half from where they left off with team captain Samba Diallo flashing two efforts over Raed Gazzeh’s goal.

Camara made it 3-0 for Senegal with a close range effort, following successive saves by Gazzeh to deny Samba Diallo.

Camara won possession deep into the Tunisia half to play in Faye who found Samba Diallo on the edge of the penalty box.

The team captain had two efforts blocked before tucking away the rebound to score his second of the day.

Both sides continued to effect changes as they look to freshen up things in the second half.

Jibril Othman headed wide of Badi’s goal on 73 minutes from substitute Mohamed Aziz Abid’s delivery into the area.

Backed by their vociferous travelling fans, the Young Teranga Lions held on to secure their place in Saturday’s final.(NAN)


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