Three unrelenting African teams, Angola, Nigeria, Senegal, hunt for U-17 World Cup glory
London, Oct. 31, 2019 (AltAfrica)-Senegal ensured there would be at least three African nations still in the hunt for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 trophy after the group stage, as they dramatically joined Nigeria and Angola – who both qualified on Tuesday in the next round courtesy of two late goals
Senegal secured its place in the Round of 16 at the 2019 FIFA Under-17 World Cup following a dramatic 3-1 come-from-behind win against 10-man Netherlands at the Estadio Kleber Andrade in Cariacica, Brazil, on Wednesday.
Despite the hard fought win, Senegal’s qualification from Group D was mathematically sealed when Japan drew 0-0 with United States, a result that suits the second-place Asians better than the Americans.
Naoufal Bannis opened the scoring after 10 minutes after he found himself unmarked at the far post following a corner to smash the ball into the roof of the net.
Samba Diallo leveled the game with a header three minutes later but the goal was ruled out after a VAR check as Souleymane Faye was judged to have committed a foul in the buildup to the goal.
Five minutes later, Bannis thought he had doubled Netherlands’ lead but the goal was ruled out as Jayden Braaf was offside in the buildup.
Pape Sarr’s deflected long-range strike less than a minute after the restart drew Senegal level.
Sarr grabbed his brace in the 87th minute through a penalty after Melayro Bogarde fouled Mouhamadou Diaw in the penalty box.
Bogarde was subsequently sent off after receiving a second booking for the foul.
The Young Lions of Teranga then sealed the win in the fifth minute of stoppage time after a counterattacking move saw Sarr release Aliou Balde who rounded Dutch goalkeeper Calvin Raatsie to score.
Senegal tops Group D with a maximum six points from two games, two ahead of Japan, whom they will face in their final group game.
Tuesday saw Nigeria and Angola qualify, and on Wednesday it was Senegal’s turn.
The African triumvirate have something else in common-they all enjoy last-gasp victories. For the second time at Brazil 2019, Senegal conceded a goal in the early stages of a match and managed to completely turn things around in the second half, sealing their success as the final whistle sounded.