Mali’s Under 20 national team on Sunday defeated Senegal 3-2 on penalties to win their first Under 20 title in the 2019 Under 20 Africa Cup of Nations final decided at the General Seyni Kountché Stadium, Niamey.
The Malians had defeated Nigeria on penalties in their semi-final game on Wednesday and required the lottery of penalties again after they battled favourites Senegal to a 1-1 draw after extra-time on Sunday.
Boubacar Traore gave the Young Eagles the lead in the fifteenth minute, assisted by the lad that assisted his goal against Nigeria, Hadji Drame. Amadou Ndiaye however equalised for the Junior Lions of Senegal in the 73rd minute to force extra time.
In the ensuing spot kicks, Senegal missed their first kick – just like Nigeria did against the Malians – and they never recovered from it. The win secured Mali’s first ever title after reaching their first final since 1989 and will go into the 2019 FIFA Under 20 Championship in Poland as African Champions.
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South Africa finished third in the competition after beating Nigeria 5-3 on penalties on Saturday. Both teams played out another goalless draw like they did in their group stage game before Kano Pillars midfielder Ibrahim Alhassan missed Nigeria’s first kick with South Africa converting all five.
Leading goalscorer –
Amadou Ndiaye (Senegal)
Player of the tournament
Fair Play Award