By Samindra Kunti
March 7 – Senegal and South Africa have completed the line-up of the U20 2017 FIFA World Cup in South Korea after advancing to the semi-finals of the U20 CAF African Cup of Nations.
Zambia are hosting CAF’s continental U20 tournament, with the last four tickets to the U20 World Cup up for grabs. The hosts were the first team to secure passage to the Far East after topping Group A with three straight victories over Guinea, Mali and Egypt respectively.
Zambia make a return to the finals, having last participated in 2007. They will be joined in South Korea by group A runners-up Guinea, who booked their ticket after a 3-2 crunch win against Mali.
Senegal and South Africa were the last two teams to qualify for the World Cup. The Lions of Teranga finished undefeated in group B, with two wins and a draw. They completed their group stage with a convincing 2-0 victory against West African rivals Cameroon. The Senegalese made their debut at the U20 World Cup in New Zealand in 2015 and finished fourth.
The Amajita of South Africa also make their return to the final tournament after a 3-1 victory over Sudan was enough to grab second place in group B. South Africa’s best finish at the U20 World Cup came in Egypt in 2009 when the Amajita reached the round of 16, before getting knocked out by eventual tournament winners Ghana after extra time.
At the finals, the four African representatives will join 20 other teams from across the globe, who had already booked their place before the kick-off of the U20 African Cup of Nations. England, France, Germany and Portugal will carry the European flag. In South America, Brazil missed out on qualification.
Serbia won the tournament in 2015. The Official Draw for the U-20 World Cup will take place on 15 March.
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