U17 AFCON: Morocco, Senegal eye first continental trophy

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The final countdown is on for the under 17 Africa Cup of Nations’ showpiece. The final will take place on Friday (May 19) night. Burkina Faso edged out Mali 2-1 on Thursday (May 18) to finish third of the U17 AFCON.

Senegal will play Morocco on Friday. The final will kick-off at 9 PM GMT at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers.

Just months after the U 20 team won the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) in Algeria, the Lion Cubs of Teranga have a chance to make history as well. 

However, the coach insisted the work put to the task was the most important.

"In youth football, what matters is not which fruits you reaped but what you've sown," coach Salio Dia said. "You can win today and fail tomorrow, that's not what matters most. The important thing is to train the players who tomorrow will represent the Under-20's, Under-23's and senior national team. I think that focus is the secret behind Senegal's success."

Morocco and Senegal have been the most consistent performers in the competition.

Just like Senegal who dominated Group A, Morocco topped group B and also had to win penalty shoot out to carve its way to the final.

On Thursday (May 18), Moroccan coach Said Chiba seemed un fazed by his team’s ’very competitive' contender.

"It is evident, through the matches which have taken place in this competition, that Senegal have a very competitive team, as you have mentioned. We know them and they know us very well. So, there is no more mystery surrounding the two teams. We are looking to deliver our game plan better than them." 

Moroccan and Senegalese fans will keep their support loud and strong in the 40 784-seat Nelson Mandela stadium.

Friday's final will be historic no matter the outcome. Neither Senegal nor Morocco have ever won this competition previously.

Burkina Faso ended their TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations competition on a positive note. The team edged out Mali 2-1 in the play-off in Annaba on Thursday (May. 18) night to finish third.

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