Senegal Script History As They Clinch the U17 AFCON Title

Senegal Script History As They Clinch the U17 AFCON Title
Credit: Iconsport

The Senegal U17 national football team clinched the U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) trophy for the first time in history with a 2-1 win against the U17 Moroccan national team on Friday night at Stade Nelson Mandela in Algiers.

Algeria hosted the continental tournament, where young talents showcase their skills and compete for international glory. The Nigeria U17 national team, aka the Golden Eaglets, also competed in the U17 AFCON for a record 10th time in their history. However, they were knocked out at the quarter-final stage after a defeat to Burkina Faso.

How Senegal Clinched the U17 AFCON

Senegal wasn't the favourites coming into the U17 AFCON final. They started slow and went behind in the 14th minute. Morocco’s captain Ait Boudlal opened the score in favour of the Atlas Lions with a stunning header assisted by Abdelhamid Maali, surprising the Senegalese Goalkeeper and defence.

Morocco got motivated by the early goal while both sides battling for possession. However, the Senegal U17 team, aka the Junior Terenga Lions, took hold of the second half, with Serigne Fallou Diouf equalizing the score from the penalty spot in the 80th minute. The penalty was awarded after assistance from the VAR.

With their chins up, Senegal pushed for another goal, and it came just three minutes later. Mamadou Sawane completed his side's historical comeback with a header assisted by Amara Diouf, making Senegal fans jump with joy.

As the final whistle blew, the Senegalese players, coaches, and fans celebrated the remarkable achievement. But they were also professional by comforting the Moroccan players.

Senegal and Morocco had a long footballing rivalry as they competed against each other on many occasions. However, they are known for their shared sportsmanship.

Senegal is dominating African football as they are champions of all football categories. This title is Senegal's third consecutive continental title within four months, following their accomplishments in the Africa Nations Championship 2023 (CHAN) and the 2023 U20 AFCON.

How Did Morocco and Senegal Reach the Finals?

With back-to-back victories over Nigeria (1-0) and South Africa (2-0) and just one loss to Zambia, the Moroccan Atlas Lions took the top spot in Group B. They faced their neighbours and the host Algeria in the quarter-finals, knocking them out of the tournament after a comprehensive 3-0 victory. They played against Mali in the semi-finals, making it to the final through a penalty shootout (6-5) after a goalless draw.

Meanwhile, the Senegalese Lions won Group A after winning their three group-stage games against Algeria (3-0), Congo (1-0), and Somalia (3-0). They reached the semi-final successfully after demolishing South Africa 5-0 in the quarter-finals. In the semi-final, Senegal beat Burkina Faso, who defeated the Nigeria U17 side, on penalties.

Frequently Asked Questions About the 2023 U17 AFCON

What are the final positions of the 2023 U17 AFCON?

Senegal won the AFCON U17 title, while Morocco finished runners-up.

Who hosted the 2023 U17 AFCON?

Algeria hosted the 14th edition of the U17 AFCON.

Who is the top scorer of the 2023 U17 AFCON?

The Senegalese player Amara Diouf is the top scorer of the 2023 U17 AFCON edition with five goals.

Who won the best player award of the 2023 U17 AFCON?

Burkina Faso’s Souleymane Alio won the Best Player award of the 2023 U17 AFCON, while Senegal’s Goalkeeper won the Best Goalkeeper award of the tournament.

How many National teams participated in the 2023 U17 AFCON?

Twelve national teams participated in the 2023 U17 AFCON hosted in Algeria.

This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago

Chandan is a passionate writer, editor, and marketer with a love for football. He has bylines in leading online publications and has worked with renowned sports brands like The Olympics, Fox Sports Asia, and the Indian Super League (ISL). As for the unimpressive part, he loves Chelsea.