Senegal U-20 qualified for the final of the 2015 African Youth Championship after defeating Mali 2-1 in their last four clash in Dakar on Thursday.
The young Lions will be facing Nigeria, who enjoyed a 2-0 victory over Ghana in the other semi-final on Wednesday, in their first ever AYC final.
The hosts jumped in the driver’s seat after 58 seconds of play, thanks to Moussa Koné who tipped the ball home after Mali keeper Sory Traoré struggled to clear a header from Malick Niang.
But it only took the Eagles two minutes to fight back with Alassane Diallo’s equaliser in the 3rd minute from a left-footed long range effort.
Senegal dominated a very physical first half with the two sides getting into the break on equal footing.
Mali gained some momentum in the second half and came close to take the lead just past the hour mark when Saliou Guindo lost his one on one with Lions’ keeper Ibrahima Sy.
Souleymane Diarra missed another golden opportunity to put the Eagles ahead in the 78th minute, and as substitute Hamidou Traoré ultimately found the back of the net off the cross-bar from a powerful strike a minute later, the Egyptian referee didn’t seem to realise that the ball had crossed the line.
And with ten more minutes to go, Joseph Koto’s boys scored the winner thanks to man-of-the-match Moussa Koné, who took full advantage of another poor clearance from Sory Traoré, following a Sidy Sarr’s attempt, to seal a crucial brace.
The hosts will battle the Flying Eagles for continental glory at the Léopold Sédar Senghor Stadium on Sunday at 21h30 CAT, while Ghana and Mali will fight for third place on the same ground at 18h30 CAT.
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