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U-20 World Cup Roundup: Mali and Senegal advance

Senegal and Mali reached the last eight of the 2015 FIFA , while the much fancied Nigeria and Ghana crashed out.

Ghana 0-3 Mali

Mali upset favourites Ghana in stunning fashion to reach the quarter-finals of the 2015 U-20 World Cup. Ghana had earlier dispatched Argentina and seemed they would cruise here as well, but found the going tough from early on.

The Malians started strongly and were duly rewarded after 20 minutes when Samassekou finished off his side’s swift exchange in what was a wonderful team goal.

Ghana staged a – muted – rally after this but it didn’t amount to anything.

The second half saw more Malian domination and they went on to score a further two goals; the first, a breathtaking curler on 53 minutes, came after Gbakle had wriggled his way from the right side.

The theme of beautiful goals continued as Doumbia chipped home the third after breaking through Ghana’s defense line.

Ukraine 1-1 Senegal (1-3 on pens) 

Ukraine went into their game against Senegal having yet to concede a goal in the competition.

It was not much of a surprise then that despite Senegal matching what they received from Ukraine, it was seemingly impossible to break the deadlock.

The onlookers had to wait for 20 minutes to pass until someone scored, and it was the Ukrainians.

Beyyeden struck the far post but Senegal hastily responded through Sar just over ten minutes later to send the game to extra-time.

With the additional 30 minute period seeing no change, it was left to the lottery of penalty shoot-outs to decide which team advanced.

Senegalese goalkeeper Sy became the hero as he saved three penalties while his team mates struck home all of theirs to result in a 3-1 shoot-out victory. Senegal will face Uzbekistan in the quarter finals.

African champions Nigeria had their dreams of glory cut short in the round of 16 by a clearly superior German side.

The game turned out as expected, the Germans controlling the game through more possession while their opponents tried to get back at them via counter-attacks.

It didn’t take long for Germany to score; Oztumali struck a powerful left footer at the 19-minute mark for what turned out to be the only goal of the match.

The Germans had more possession and created more chances, and deservedly go through to face another African challenge: Mali.

I have dedicated part of my time in this bad world to following African football. From CECAFA to WAFU, COSAFA to UNAF & even the forgotten UNIFFAC.

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