The third and last group games of the 2023 CAF U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Algeria took centre stage from 5th to 7th May. We now have the full set of quarter-finalists, with six teams qualifying outright and two others joining them as the two best third-placed teams.
What Happened in the Last Group Games
The first kickoff of the day saw hosts, Algeria, clash with Congo at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers. Both teams played out a goalless affair in the first half. The Zambians took the lead in the second half, but it lasted eight minutes as Algeria fought back to draw level. The match ended 1-1, meaning Algeria joined Senegal in the last eight from Group A.
The other game of Group A was between Somalia and Senegal. Having qualified with a game to spare ahead of the match, the young Teranga Lions still beat the Somalians 3-0, capping off an outstanding campaign in the group stage.
In Group B, Nigeria, aka the Golden Eaglets, played South Africa for a place in the quarterfinals. The match was characterised by attacking play from both sides. South Africa needed a win to qualify ahead of Nigeria, with the latter only needing to draw to make it through. The South Africans drew first blood in the game, with the Golden Eaglets restoring parity. However, the South Africans scored again to go into half-time with a 2-1 lead.
The Golden Eaglets came out all guns blazing in the second half, defeating the Amajimbos of South Africa 3-2 and booking their quarter-finals berth.
The other matchup in Group B saw the already qualified Atlas Cubs of Morocco take on the baby Chipolopolo of Zambia. The Cubs were coasting to victory at the end of the first half. In a drastic change of events, the Zambians turned the game on its head to stun Morocco and win 2-1. Nevertheless, the result was insufficient for the Zambians to make it into the last eight.
Cameroon, the defending champions, lost for the second time in Group C, succumbing 2-1 to Burkina Faso this time. It was a disappointing U17 AFCON campaign for the Cameroonians, as they finished last in Group C and crashed out of the competition.
The Last Eight Teams in the U17 AFCON
Algeria, Burkina Faso, Congo, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa progress to the quarter-finals of the U17 AFCON 2023.
The U17 AFCON Quarter-Final Pairing
Senegal vs South Africa – Nelson Mandela Stadium, Algiers
Morocco vs Algeria – Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium, Constantine
Mali vs Congo – 19 May 1956 Stadium, Annaba
Nigeria vs Burkina Faso – Nelson Mandela Stadium, Algiers
The quarter-final fixtures will be played on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. The last four teams in this competition will represent Africa in the 2023 U17 FIFA World Cup.
This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago