- South Africa and Nigeria follow Senegal to Poland 2019
- One matchday remains in the group stage at the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations
- Ghana and Mali face off on 9 February for CAF’s last spot in the world finals
Two more African nations have secured spots at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019, as South Africa and Nigeria took their places in Europe by advancing to the semi-finals at the CAF U-20 Africa Cup of Nations Niger 2019 on 8 February.
Both teams finished group play unbeaten, and both advanced on the final matchday out of Group A.
Luke Le Roux coolly converted a ninth-minute penalty for the Amajita, who held on to defeat winless Burundi 1-0. The result clinched a second consecutive world finals berth for South Africa.
It was Ibrahim Alhassan’s go-ahead goal in the 73rd minute that proved the match-winner for Nigeria, who bested hosts Niger 1-0 to move on in the tournament. The seven-time U-20 Africa Cup of Nations champions will look to add another continental trophy to their cabinet and to impress on the global stage come May.
Senegal became the first African team to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup on 6 February. The Young Lions of Teranga confirmed their place in this year’s world finals by winning back-to-back matches in Group B, defeating Ghana 2-0 at the Stade de Maradi in Niger following a 2-0 win over Mali on 3 February.
The match-winner was Youssouph Mamadou Badji, who scored a first-half brace to lead Senegal to victory and, most importantly, to world finals qualification.
One final spot in the semi-finals and in Poland remains. Ghana and Mail will meet for the right to advance on 9 February.
Poland will host the FIFA U-20 World Cup from 23 May to 15 June 2019. At least seven games will be played at each of the six venues. The venue for the opening and final matches is Lodz. In Bielsko-Biala, Bydgoszcz, Gdynia, Lublin and Tychy there will be at least two matches each with a seeded team.
The draw is scheduled for 24 February 2019 in the Gdynia Arena. Gdynia – like Tychy, Bielsko-Biala, Bydgoszcz, Lodz and Lublin – is one of the venues of the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland.
In addition to hosts Poland and CAF nations Senegal, South Africa and Nigeria, the following teams have qualified for the tournament:
AFC: Japan, Korea Republic, Qatar and Saudi Arabia
Concacaf: Honduras, Mexico, Panama and USA
OFC: New Zealand and Tahiti
UEFA: France, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Ukraine