Nigeria through to African youth champs soccer final

2011-04-28 13:21

A goal in each half saw Nigeria beat Mali 2-0 in a feisty first semifinal of the African Youth Championships at Dobsonville Stadium today.

Buoyed by the song and dance from their legion of supporters in the stands, Nigeria took the lead through striker Innocent Nwofor Uche in the 23rd minute.

Mali was guilty of poor marking as Uche took advantage of an uncleared ball in the penalty box from a corner kick.

The second strike came in the 90th minute courtesy of a penalty converted by substitute midfielder Stanley Okoro after defender Amara Malle fouled him in the box.

Despite the result, Mali were the better team on the day as they dominated the Nigerians but lacked composure in front of goal. They squandered numerous opportunities and hit the woodwork twice.

The Malians were without two key forwards in the suspended duo of Doumba Cheick and Kalifa Coulibaly, and they were both clearly missed.

Despite the loss, Mali qualified for the Under-20 World Cup set to take place in Colombia later in the year.

Nigeria will meet the winner of the second semifinal between Cameroon and Egypt which will be played in Dobsonville later in the afternoon.

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