2015 AYC: Champions Egypt out, SA, Ghana qualify

2015 AYC: Champions Egypt out, SA, Ghana qualify
Ghana U20s will be gunning for a fourth AYC title in Senegal in March

by Samm Audu

Sunday Aug 31, 2014. 23:54

Egypt will not defend their African Youth Championship in Senegal in March after they failed to overturn a 2-0 deficit in Congo on Sunday, just as South Africa, Ghana and Zambia scaled through to the biennial tournament.

Hosts Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire have completed the eight-nation tournament, which will kick off on March 8.

The Young Pharaohs won 2-1 at home Sunday night, but it was not enough as they had lost the first leg in Congo 2-0

Zamalek forward Youssef 'Obama' Ibrahim tucked away a penalty in the 27th minute, but Congo drew level five minutes after the interval.

Striker Karim Walid scored the winner for Egypt in the 79th minute, but it was not enough to lift them to Senegal 2015.

Ghana, who lost to Egypt in last year’s AYC final in Algeria, will hope to add to their three AYC titles next year after they thumped Gabon 4-1 in Libreville with four different scorers after a goalless draw at home.

Zambia have returned to the AYC courtesy of a home and away win over Malawi.

The Young Chipolopolo won 1-0 at home on Saturday after they also won 2-1 in Malawi.

They had last featured in the competition in 2007, where they placed fourth.

“This is a good win and an early celebration for (the country’s 50th) jubilee. We promised the people we will not disappoint and here we are, we are in Senegal,” celebrated Zambia coach Hector Chilombo.

Mali lost 1-0 at fellow West Africans Togo on Sunday, but booked their passage at the tournament proper having won the first 2-0 at home.

Last year, they reached the last four of the competition, just as they had done at South Africa 2011.

South Africa, on the other hand, returned to the AYC three years after they hosted the tournament.

South Africa full international coach ‘Shakes’ Mashaba signed off with the Amajita in fine style when the U20s came from behind to beat Cameroon and go through 3-2 on aggregate.

Fargie Lakay’s first-half brace did the magic for the home team, who pulled a 1-1 draw in Cameroon a fortnight ago.

African U17 reigning champions Cote d’Ivoire overturned a 2-1 loss against Libya to win 3-1 at home to also book their flight to Senegal.

It will be a battle royale should they clash with Nigeria again in Senegal after the Flying Eagles, dominated by the players who lost to the Ivorians in last year's U17 final, also advanced after they walked over Lesotho.

The 2015 AYC will be played between March 8 and 22 with the semi-finalists qualifying to fly Africa’s flag at the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand.

2015 AYC Finalists

Senegal (Hosts)

Nigeria

Zambia

Cote d’Ivoire

Ghana

South Africa

Congo

Mali



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