Senegal and South Africa sealed their place in the semifinals of the 2017 African Under-20 Championships on Sunday after comprehensive victories over Cameroon and Sudan respectively.
Senegal defeated Cameroon 2-0 in their Group B clash in Ndola, while South Africa beat Sudan 3-1 in Lusaka to seal a runners-up spot in the pool. The victors both sealed a place at the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in South Korea from May 20-June 11.
South Africa will meet Group A winners Zambia in their semifinal in Lusaka on Wednesday, while Senegal take on Guinea in Ndola the following day.
Senegal took until first half injury-time to break the deadlock against Cameroon as Ibrahima Niane put them in front.
A goal three minutes into the second period from Krepin Diatta sealed the win and handed top spot in Group B to the west Africans.
South Africa had some nervy moments but too much quality in the end for the Sudanese.
They were ahead on 13 minutes when Phakamani Mahlambi had the easiest of tap-ins after being teed-up by Luther Singh.
Singh showed great pace and selflessness as he used his pace to get behind the Sudan defence and charged into the penalty area before squaring for Mahlambi to score into an empty net.
But South Africa’s defence looked nervous and edgy, and Sudan found an equaliser on 23 minutes in the simplest way – a ball into the box was chested down by Khaled Osman and he blasted the ball into the net unchallenged.
Sudan were finding acres of space in the South African box as the defenders stood ball-watching and the north Africans should have been in front when Walaa Musa missed a tap-in chance at the back post.
Grant Margeman then blasted South Africa in front on the hour-mark as midfielder Kobamelo Kodisang showed good skill on the left-wing. His cross was eventually picked up by Margeman on the edge of the box and he let fly with a thunderous strike that nestled in the top corner.
And it was 3-1 on 66 minutes when another fine team move saw Mbatha side-foot into the bottom corner.