Senegal’s under-20 men’s football team beat Gambia 1-0 to win the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Zone A title in Nouakchott on Sunday.
The tournament took place in Mauritania’s capital at the Cheikha Ould Boidiya Stadium in the presence of a large audience with Samba Diallo scoring the only goal of the match.
The two teams could not be separated by half-time as the Senegalese cleverly responded to the early Gambian attempts to break the deadlock.
The Baby Cubs succeeded in scoring through Diallo who was named best player of the tournament for the regional body.
A cross from Pape Amadou Diallo in the 63rd minute was met with a powerful header by Samba Diallo to hand the trophy to his team.
“We deserved the victory with a goal scored after several spurning several scoring chances. I also say congratulations to Gambia which is a very good team and it is good for the zone to have such a competitive tournament,” said Malick Daff, Senegal’s coach.
“I will also salute the Senegalese Football Federation which promotes continuity by allowing us to progress from the U17s to the U20s. Many of the new African champions in the U17 team last year,” he added.
Despite the late efforts of the Gambians to win the match and several substitutions the Senegalese defenders remained resolute to win the title.
“It’s a disappointment, we tried a lot of things but it didn’t work against the Senegal team,” said Abdoulie Bojang, Gambia’s coach.
Samba Diallo (Senegal) was awarded Best player and top scorer of the tournament with three goals, while Mamour Ndiaye (Senegal) won the title of best goalkeeper of the tournament.
The two finalists will represent WAFU Zone A at the final phase of TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations 2023 scheduled for Egypt.