Ghana’s Black Starlets To Face Strong Opposition At Africa U17 Championship
Posted On Monday, 3rd December 2012
Ghana will face tough opposition in next year’s African U17 Championship in Morocco after six other strong countries in African youth football qualified for the tournament.
The Black Starlets have been joined by Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Gabon, Congo and Botswana for the tournament.
Ghana completed a double over South Africa on Saturday to seal their place as they chase their third U17 World Cup title.
Three-time world champions Nigeria outscored Mali 4-0 on aggregate after they won the return leg 2-0 in Bamako on Sunday.
Isaac Success and Bernard Bulbwa were Nigeria’s scorers even though another goal by Ibrahim Alhassan was disallowed as early as the 12th minute by the Guinean referee.
Gabon further underlined their emergence on the continent in age-group competitions after they held hosts Benin to a 1-1 draw in Cotonou.
They thus booked their place at the Morocco final tournament having won their first game 2-1 at home.
Gabon have also qualified for the 2013 African youth Championship after they qualified for the London Olympics mainly for players under-23.
Tunisia overturned a 2-1 deficit suffered in Burkina Faso to win 3-0 and qualify for the final tournament on a 4-2 aggregate.
Hazem Haj Hssan grabbed a brace in the third and 26th minutes, before Chiheb Jibali notched the all important third goal on 52 minutes.
The Tunisia U17s, who are handled by Abdelhay Ben Soltane, only recently won the Arab Nations cup competition.
Ghana, who last qualified for the U17 championship five years ago, recorded a double over South Africa to also book their passage to Morocco next year.
On Saturday, they defeated their South African counterparts 2-1 after they had won their first leg clash 3-2.
Emmanuel Boateng grabbed a double for the Ghana Black Starlets.
Congo and Cote d’Ivoire will also be at Morocco 2013.
Congo edged past Tanzania 2-1 on aggregate after they won the return leg at home 2-0, while Cote d’Ivoire pipped Senegal 3-2 on aggregate having drawn the first game 1-1 in Dakar.
The last team to qualify were Botswana, who drew 1-1 with hosts Algeria late Sunday night and with the first leg also 1-1, the game had to be decided on penalties, which they topped.
The seven qualifiers will now join hosts Morocco for the competition billed to be played between April 13 and 27.
The draw will take place in Cairo on Sunday, December 9.
All the results and qualifiers:
Mali 0 Nigeria 2
Nigeria qualify 4-0 on aggregate
Ghana 2 South Africa 1
Ghana qualify 5-3 on aggregate
Tunisia 3 Burkina Faso 0
Tunisia qualify 4-2 on aggregate
Algeria 1 Botswana 1
Algeria and Botswana equal 2-2 on aggregate. Botswana through on penalties
Cote d’Ivoire 2 Senegal 1
Cote d’Ivoire qualify 3-2 on aggregate
Benin 1 Gabon 1
Gabon qualify 3-2 on aggregate
Congo 2 Tanzania 0
Congo qualify 2-1 on aggregate