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TotalEnergies AFCON U-20 – Best XI of the tournament

New champions Senegal as expected dominate the team with four players while first-time finalists The Gambia have two members alongside Nigeria and Congo with a Ugandan completing the modern 4-3-3 line-up which is headed by Senegal coach Malick Daf.

Goalkeeper: Landing Badji (Senegal)

A towering presence between the sticks for the Young Teranga Lions of Senegal in all six matches during the tournament.

The AS Pikine custodian was exceptional as he kept six clean sheets to help Malick Daf’s side claim their first ever TotalEnergies AFCON U-20 title.

Badji, 19-years-old was instrumental in the quarter-finals win over Benin as he made smart saves to keep his team in the game before captain Samba Diallo headed in the winner.

He will be hoping to continue his impressive performance with local side AS Pikine in the Senegalese Professional League and the national U-23 when they face Mali in the TotalEnergies U-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Right Back: Augustine Njoku (Nigeria)

A reliable source of deliveries down the right channel for the Flying Eagles of Nigeria during the thrilling TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The young defender has pace going forward with the ability of stopping his opponent from penetrating his area.

Njoku was reliable for Ladan Bosso’s team that claimed bronze in Egypt and a place at this year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia.

Right Central Defender: Seydou Sano (Senegal)

A calm and collected presence in the heart of the Young Teranga Lions defense throughout the tournament.

The US Goree defender was a rock at the back for Senegal with his timely interceptions making it difficult for opposing forwards.

His aerial ability was key to Senegal’s success as the Young Teranga Lions kept six clean sheets enroute to their first ever TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON triumph.

Left Central Defender: Alagie Saine (Gambia)

A nonsense defender who is influential in both penalty areas of the pitch. The Gambia captain had a tournament to remember with his performances earning him two Man of the Match awards.

The former Falcons FC skipper marked his second TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON tournament with some great defending and scoring the winner in his country’s first two group stage matches against Tunisia and Zambia.

Saine will be hoping to break into the senior national team after earning a call-up to this month’s TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 qualifiers against Mali.

Left Back: Solomon Agbalaka (Nigeria)

A modern defender who can play on the left of defense and at the heart of defense for the Flying Eagles of Nigeria.

Solomon Agbalaka was selected to the team following coach Ladan Bosso’s scouting trip to Lagos and the versatile defender didn’t disappoint.

The powerful full-back scored the winner against host nation Egypt to secure Nigeria’s first victory of the 2023 TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup.

Defensive Midfielder: Lamine Camara (Senegal)

Soft spoken off the field but a gem in the middle of the pitch for the Young Teranga Lions of Senegal.

The former Generation Foot ace came into the tournament on the heels of his triumphant performance at this year’s TotalEnergies African Nations Championship in Algeria.

The box-to-box midfielder gave Malick Daf’s side balance and an extra man in attack with high pressing ability causing problems for opposing defenders.

The new Metz FC recruit scored twice in the semi-finals success over Tunisia before a sterling performance in the final against arch rivals and neighbours The Gambia.

The new maestro of Senegalese football has all it takes to break into Aliou Cisse’s side in the future.

Attacking Midfielder: Pape Demba Diop (Senegal)

Diop was a delight to watch during the tournament for the Young Teranga Lions of Senegal.

The former Diambar FC graduate played in a midfield three alongside Lamine Camara and RS Berkane’s Mamadou Camara.

The Zulte Waregem starlet finished as leading scorer with five goals to scoop the Umbro Golden Boot award ahead of Adama Bojang and Déogracias Bassinga.

The youngster scored spectacular goals in the tournament including a famous hat-trick against host nation Egypt at the Cairo International Stadium.

Attacking Midfielder: Prince Sousssou (Congo)

A star in the Red Devils side that finished in the quarter-finals of the tournament. Sousssou Ilendo has the ability to score and create chances for his team.

The Club Sportif MultiDisciplinaire attacker has everything from a great, silky touch on the ball to an unparalleled vision of the beautiful game and the ability to withstand pressure.

Right Winger: Adama Bojang (Gambia)

The darling of Gambian football during the TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON in Egypt.

The Steve Biko protégé showed real promise with his runs to latch onto through balls and his ability to dispatch his chances.

Bojang is one of the most clinical strikers in the Gambian league and he showed that in Egypt with his goals in the business end of the tournament.

The young poacher scored a hat-trick against debutants South Sudan in the quarter-finals before scoring the lone goal to secure the Young Scorpions their place in the final.

Left Winger: Rogers Mugisha (Uganda)

Rogers provided Uganda an outlet down the left channel of their attack with his ability to take on defenders.

The youngster combined with Travis Mutyaba and Titus Ssematima in the Hippos team that performed so well despite their quarter-final exit to record champions Nigeria.

Centre Forward: Déogracias Bassinga (Congo)

Exciting and clinical, these two describe Déogracias Bassinga.

The Congo forward scored four goals for Marie Joseph Madienguela’s side before they exited in the quarter-finals against Tunisia on penalty shootouts.

Bassinga has pace and the ability to convert changes in the opposition box. He hit a hat-trick in the quarter-finals against Tunisia to bow out with four goals one shy of Umbro Golden Boot winner Pape Demba Diop of Senegal.

Senegal U20 star Pape Diop scoops Umbro Golden Boot award

The 19-year-old scored five goals in the tournament which earned him the coveted trophy as the leading scorer of the 23rd edition of the biennial tournament.

The Zulte Waregem starlet impressed in the land of the Pharaoh with his spectacular goals and his ability to be at the right place at the right time.

Diop opened his account in the 3-0 hammering of Mozambique in the second group match before hitting a famous hat-trick against host nation Egypt to eliminate the Young Pharaohs.

Diop showed real promise in the tournament as he pushed for first team action at Belgian side Zulte Waregem. The Ouakam born maestro was a delight to watch in the well drilled Senegalese team.

He scored a sumptuous goal to put Senegal in front against Tunisia in the semi-finals at the Suez Canal Authority Stadium.

Diop also starred in the final triumph over their arch rivals The Gambia.

The former Diambar FC ace played 74 minutes in the 2-0 victory to secure his team their first ever TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations glory.

Senegal custodian Badji named TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON Best Goalkeeper

The Young Teranga Lions won their first ever TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON following their 2-0 victory over neighbours The Gambia at the Cairo International Stadium.

The young keeper helped his side to continental glory by keeping six clean sheets in the process. The towering shot stopper was also named the Best Goalkeeper of the group stage of the 23rd edition of the biennial tournament.

The 19-year-old is already considered in Senegal as one of the best in his position.

The AS Pikine ace is also part of the Senegal U-23 national team and he will be hoping to continue his sterling performance for Demba Mbaye’s team in the TotalEnergies U-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

A very agile and commanding goalkeeper, Badji is also technically good with the ball. His ability to play from the back has earned him an assist in the Senegalese Professional League for AS Pikine.

Last November, he was in Belgium for trials at FC Brugge and the TotalEnergies U-20 FC will undoubtedly offer him greater exposure as scouts from leading clubs around the world followed the tournament with keen interest.

Badji is certainly the reason why his club AS Pikine have the best defense in the Senegalese Ligue 1.

Camara named TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON best player

The new Metz FC recruit was handed the Man of the Tournament award by the CAF Technical Study Group of the tournament following Saturday’s final on Cairo.

The midfielder was rewarded for his standout performances during the tournament as Senegal secured their first ever TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON title.

The 19-year-old star played an integral part in Senegal’s success in Egypt with his pressing and ability to create scoring opportunities for Malick Daf’s side.

Camara was one of the standout performers of the TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN) 2022 in Algeria.

The former Generation Foot ace scored twice in semi-final victory over Tunisia in Ismailia.

Camara doubled Senegal’s lead after Pape Demba Diop had given the Young Teranga Lions the lead at the Suez Canal Authority Stadium.

He completed his brace to send Senegal to their fourth appearance in the TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations final.

The elegant midfielder played a key part in the final against Gambia in Cairo. Goals from Sulaymane Faye and Mamadou Camara were enough to secure victory against their neighbours.

Lamine Camara will be hoping to continue his impressive performance with his new club Metz FC in the French second tier.

Senegal defeat Gambia to win TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON

Goals from forward Sulaymane Faye and midfielder Mamadou Camara in the Egyptian capital of Cairo were enough to secure Senegal victory over their arch-rivals.

The West African side qualified to Saturday’s final with a hundred percent record winning all their matches without conceding a goal.

The Young Teranga Lions were playing their fourth TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON final having finished runners-up in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

Malick Daf’s side have followed in the footsteps of the senior Teranga Lions, the Beach Soccer national team and the home-based national team in winning continental glory over the last year.

The Young Teranga Lions started better at the Cairo International Stadium with their direct approach causing the Young Scorpions problems at the back.

The Young Teranga Lions broke the deadlock after six minutes through Sulaymane Faye’s header from a cross down the right channel.

The Gambian defense failed to deal with Pape Diallo’s cross which allowed Faye to head into an unguarded goal.

The Young weathered the early setback to keep possession with Alieu Gibba and Mahmud Bajo

Lamine Camara fired a shot from distance which Pa Ebou Dampha parried towards the inrushing Sulaymane Faye who failed to score on 28 minutes.

Pa Ebou Dampha made himself big in front of the CF Talavera forward who couldn’t add to his tally.

The Young Scorpions came from the break seeking to get back into the match but were too strong in defense for the Young Scorpions.

Senegal doubled their lead ten minutes after the restart through RS Berkane midfielder Mamadou Camara. The towering Mamadou Camara guided home a corner to beat the helpless Pa Ebou Dampha.

The Young Teranga Lions dominated possession in the opening exchanges of the second period with Lamine Camara and Mamadou Camara pulling the strings for Malick Daf’s side.

The Gambia coach Abdoulie Bojang made a double substitution bringing in Mansour Mbye and Muhamed Sawaneh for Bailo Bah and Modou Marong.

The change added more firepower to the ineffective Young Scorpions attack. Mbye played in Kajally Drammeh on the left side of the Gambian to free Cape Town winger whose delivery into the area was cleared for a corner.

Senegal captain Samba Diallo twice came close to extending their lead against their neighbours. The Dinamo Kiev youngster saw his half volley agonizingly miss the target before blocking Alagie Saine’s clearance towards the Gambian goal.

Substitute Mouhamed Gueye hit the Young Scorpions post with a ferocious effort in stoppage time. The US Goree midfielder was played in just outside the Gambian box to strike against the woodwork.

The WAFU-A champions held on to secure their first ever TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations.

Additional reporting by the CAF Communication Department 

TotalEnergies AFCON U-20: ‘The early goal settled the players’ – Malick Daf

The Zulte Waregem starlet broke the deadlock inside seven minutes at the Suez Canal Authority Stadium in Ismailia.

Lamine Camara scored twice to put the game to bed and book the WAFU-A champions their fourth appearance at the TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations final.

“We thank god for granting us our wish which was to win today and go to the final,” Daf told CAFOnline.

“Tunisia is a tough opponent who are difficult to play against but like we prepared for the match they were concentrated and focused in the match.

“The early goal made it a lot easier for us as it allowed the team to play much better.

“We scored the second goal from our high press which gave us a 2-0 lead at half time.”

The Young Teranga Lions qualified to the final in each of their previous three appearances in the TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON.

“In the second half I told my players to keep pressing high and not allow Tunisia to come at us,” Daf added.

“We will prepare for the final on Saturday because our objective is to win the trophy.”

Senegal will face the winner between Nigeria and The Gambia in Saturday’s final at the Cairo International Stadium.

AFCON U-20: Senegal reach final after comfortable win over Tunisia

The Teranga Cubs won the semi-final match emphatically after beating the Young Carthage Eagles at the Suez Canal Authority Stadium to secure their place in the final..

Two goals from new FC Metz recruit Camara and a sumptuous strike by Pape Diop was enough to send Senegal to their AFCON U-20 final.

The three-time runners-up will face the winner between Nigeria and The Gambia in the final on Saturday, 11 March at the Cairo International Stadium.

Senegal started brightly with captain Samba Diallo operating down the left channel while Mamadou Camara rejoined Lamine Camara in the heart of defense.

Senegal broke the deadlock through Zulte Waregem starlet Pape Diop’s ferocious effort from distance after seven minutes.

The 19-year-old forward latched onto Sulaymane Faye’s squared pass before beating Raed Gazzeh with a spectacular finish to register his fifth goal of the TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON in Egypt.

The Young Carthage Eagles grew into the match as they tried to weather the early Senegal storm at the Suez Canal Authority Stadium in Ismailia.

Mohamed Wael Derbali forced a save from the towering Senegal custodian Landing Badji. The Olympique de Beja midfielder volleyed his rebound straight into the gloves of Badji.

The Young Teranga Lions upped the ante and came close through defender Seydou Sano’s long range drive which Raed Gazzeh pushed away for a corner.

The West Africans doubled their lead on 17 minutes through 2022 TotalEnergies African Nations Championship star Lamine Camara.

The former Generation Foot graduate profited from his relentless press in the Carthage Eagles area which forced Zinedine Sassi to under-hit his backpass before sliding to make it 2-0.

Camara saw his well drilled low effort on the edge of the Tunisian box turned for a corner before Raed Gazzeh produced another top class save to deny Samba Diallo from giving Senegal a three goal lead.

Adel Sellimi’s side should have pulled a goal back on the half hour mark when Ali Saoudi headed Mohamed Dhaoui’s freekick just wide off Landing Badji’s far post.

The Carthage Eagles coach made two changes six minutes before the break withdrawing Ghaith Wahabi and Zinedine Sassi for Yassine Dridi and Adam Garreb respectively.

Mahmoud Ghorbel failed to convert Mohamed Derbali’s inviting cross into the Senegal box on 42 minutes.

The Club Sportif Sfaxien CSS defender broke free at the back post but couldn’t beat Badji in the Teranga Cubs goal.

Malick Daf’s side held onto their two goal lead going into the break as they moved closer to their fourth appearance in the TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON final.

Senegal started the second half from where they left off with captain Samba Diallo flashing two efforts over Raed Gazzeh’s goal.

Camara made it 3-0 for Senegal with a close range effort following successive saves by Raed Gazzeh to deny Samba Diallo.

Camara won possession deep into the Tunisia half to play in Sulaymane Faye who found Samba Diallo on the edge of the box, the captain had two efforts blocked before tucking away the rebound to score his second of the day.

Both sides continue to effect changes as they look to freshen up things in the second half. Jibril Othman headed wide of Badi’s goal on 73 minutes from substitute Mohamed Aziz Abid’s delivery into the area.

Backed by their travelling 12th Gainde the Young Teranga Lions held on to secure their place in Saturday’s final.

AFCON U-20: Senegal aim to reach second target – coach Daf

The West Africans marched on to the semi-finals with a hundred percent record and Daf says his team is not done yet.

“We are not finished yet because we’re playing against Tunisia for a place in the final,” the confident Daf said.

“We want to win and our aim is to improve the team and if we want to realise our objective we must win tomorrow.

“The players are ready to perform and we’re motivated for the match tomorrow.”

Senegal and neighbours Gambia are the only teams yet to concede a goal in the TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations Egypt 2023.

“Our first objective was to qualify for the World Cup and the second is to win the trophy,” Daf revealed.

“Tunisia are a good team and we played them two times. We’re very concentrated and focused.

“I’m very motivated to win but we will respect our opponents as any other team. “We will work towards our objective of winning a trophy.”

Star midfielder Lamine Camara assisted Samba Diallo’s goal in the quarter-finals and the 2022 TotalEnergies African Nations Championship winner has his sights on winning another silverware.

“We’re here because we worked very hard so the work is not finished yet,” the former Generation Foot graduate told journalists.

“We want to perform and we also want to win. We will focus on our objective of winning and god willing we will win.

“We’re very prepared as a team and the team is very motivated to continue our run and reach the final.

“We won the CHAN in Algeria and we want to win here too but we have a match against Tunisia which we’re focused on.”

The new FC Metz recruit emphasized the WAFU-A champions are only concentrating on facing Tunisia.

“Our objective is to win the semi-final without thinking about the final and a possible meeting with our neighbours The Gambia,” he added.

Additional reporting by the CAF Communication 

AFCON U-20: Quarter-final performance motivates Tunisia’ – coach Sellimi

The Young Carthage Eagles beat Congo in a post match penalties shoot-out after extra-time to book their place in Monday’s semi-final against the Teranga Cubs who are seen as the favourites.

“The quarter-final match gave us a lot of confidence and it motivated the team to face Senegal,” Adel Sellimi said.

“The performance of the team against Congo showed the level we can play so it serves as a motivation for us.

“We want to win the match and head to the final and we’re confident that we can win tomorrow.”

The Young Carthage Eagles qualified to the TotalEnergies U-20 AFCON as champions of UNAF zone.

Adel Sellimi guided his team to their second consecutive semi-final following their fourth place finish in Mauritania two years ago.

“The semi-final will be a very difficult and a strong match because it’s against Senegal,” the former Tunisia international said.

“Senegal had an extra day to rest but we will be at the same level and our team will be ready for the match.

“We played against Senegal in a friendly match in Tunis before the tournament and of course it will help you to know the opponent but this is a different game altogether,” Sellimi said.

Saint Etienne forward Jibril Othman and goalkeeper Raed Gazzeh stood out against Congo in the quarter-finals but Sellimi says it’s a collective effort.

“I will not talk about one player or two but rather the group because we prepared as a team.

“The goalkeeper Raed Gazzeh had a good performance against Congo but we will have to perform collectively as a team and that was the case in the quarterfinals.”

Captain Mohamed Kechiche says the Young Carthage Eagles are focused on winning against the Young Cubs of Senegal.

“We’re coming into the semi-finals with an objective which is to win against a strong Senegal team and hopefully we will win,” Mohamed told journalists in Ismailia.

“We insist that it’s a semi-final match and we’re motivated to give a good account of ourselves and win.

“We don’t think about the friendly we played against them in Tunis because it’s a different match.”

Tunisia qualified to the quarter-finals following their second place finish in Group C.

They lost to The Gambia in the opening match and drew goalless with Benin before beating Zambia in the last group match to secure their passage to the knockout phase.

“We’re fully focused on winning and qualifying for the final. The team is prepared and motivated after the quarter-finals which gave us a lot of confidence,” the defender said.

“We want to make our people proud by winning and going to the final.”