Thursday,19 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1305, (28 July - 3 August 2016)
Thursday,19 October, 2017
Issue 1305, (28 July - 3 August 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Young footballers pass

Egypt’s junior football team is through to the 2017 U-20 AFCON Zambia after an impressive 4-0 away victory over Angola, reports Inas Mazhar

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Al-Ahram Weekly

Coached by Zamalek’s former player Metemed Gamal, the junior Pharaohs booked their place in next year’s African tourney in grand style, beating Angola 4-0 away in Luanda for a 5-0 win on aggregate. Egypt had beaten the Angolans 1-0 at Cairo Stadium two weeks ago.

It was Karim Walid who broke the deadlock 12 minutes into the game before Ahmed Ramadan doubled the lead just before the break. Ramadan completed his brace on 72 minutes while Ahmed Yasser sealed the victory, netting the fourth in stoppage time.

Sudan joined Egypt when they shockingly beat the Nigerians 4-3 in Lagos to confirm their place for next year’s tournament. Thus Nigeria became the next in line on the casualty table of the qualifiers for the U-20 AFCON Zambia 2017. After the two legs, the result was 5-5 on aggregate. However, Nigeria, the seven-time title holders of the continental record failed to progress via away goals despite their 2-1 away win in the first leg at Omdurman.

According to the CAF online website, the Nigeria-Sudan match was a repeat of what happened in the race towards the 1997 edition. Sudan qualified ahead of Nigeria yet again on the away goals rule, meaning the Flying Eagles failed to qualify for the biennial championship for the first time since 2005.

“We are all disappointed and the truth of the matter is that we are not able to qualify to Zambia and everybody is disappointed,” crest-fallen Nigeria coach Emmanuel Amuneke said in the post-match interview.

“The players are disappointed and Nigerians are disappointed and I’m personally disappointed. A lot of Nigerians came to support us but unfortunately we are not in the position to make them happy. We are all sad but life has to move on. This is football,” added Amuneke, the retired footballer who played as a left winger for Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup.

In Bloemfontein, South Africa, South Africa achieved a 3-0 win over Lesotho and 5-0 on aggregate while Ghana were the first casualty as a 1-0 win over Senegal in Cape Coast was not enough to see them overturn a 3-1 loss from the first leg as Senegal advanced 3-2 on aggregate.

 According to CAF, this is the first time Ghana and Nigeria would miss making an appearance at the continental youth tournament.

The final tournament is scheduled from 26 February to 12 March 2017. The semi-finalists will represent Africa at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea in May next year.

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